Prince William, Prince Harry and the other grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II held a vigil for her bed in the state on Saturday as the royal family prepares to bid farewell to the late monarch at her state funeral.
The brothers stood for 15 minutes on the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall, which has been on display to the public since Wednesday.
They were also joined by Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and Prince Edward’s children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn. A royal source told CNN that the Earl and Countess of Wessex were there to raise their children because Louise and James were younger than their cousins.
A royal source previously told CNN that Prince Harry appeared in military uniform at the request of King Charles III. As a non-working member of the royal family, he appeared at other events in morning clothes.
A similar situation emerged for Charles and his siblings on Friday, followed by a vigil for the grandchildren. There are two days until the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. The monarch died on September 8 after 70 years on the throne, sparking a long period of mourning and a series of commemorations across the country.
William and Harry have set aside longstanding tensions to make joint appearances at a number of events. The brothers and their wives Catherine, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, took a surprise walk in Windsor over the weekend, but no advance announcement was made. A source told CNN that William invited the Sussexes to visit the memorial dedicated to the Queen and greet well-wishers.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie issued a joint statement on Saturday thanking their “dear grandma” and “beloved queen” and expressing condolences on her passing.
“We, like many, thought you would be here forever. We all miss you terribly,” Prince Andrew’s daughters said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.
“You were our patriarch, our guide, our loving hand, leading us through this world. You taught us so many things, and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever. Now dear grandma, we just want to say thank you, ‘ said Eugenie and Beatrice. “The world mourns for you, and these tributes really make you smile. They’re all too real for you as an extraordinary leader,” the sisters added.
“We are so glad you are back with your grandpa. Goodbye dear grandma, it has been the honor of our life to be your granddaughter and we are very proud of you,” the statement said.
Earlier on Saturday, King Charles and Prince William, Prince of Wales, greeted the public lining up to watch the Queen lay across the state during an unexpected walk in London.
The royals were seen shaking hands with well-wishers near Lambeth Bridge. Prince William appeared to gleefully address the crowd and asked several people how long they had been waiting.
Some mourners chanted “Long live hip hop” and “God bless the king” as Charles passed by.
A woman holds up a Paddington bear toy to Charles; the fictional bear has been linked to the Queen since she was featured in a sketch alongside the character at the Platinum Jubilee celebration.
People have lined up for hours to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin since she began to lie down in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.
The government said the line was nearing full capacity on Saturday. At lunchtime on Saturday, the government’s queue tracker said the current wait time was 14 hours.
Charles III also visited the Metropolitan Police headquarters in Lambeth, London, to thank police and emergency service officers who have been involved in planning and implementing events since the late Queen’s death.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Candy told a media briefing on Friday that the Queen’s funeral on Monday would be the “largest single policing event” ever for London’s Metropolitan Police.
On Sunday, King Charles will host a reception for “heads of state and official dignitaries overseas” at Buckingham Palace ahead of the late Queen’s state funeral.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, received an invitation to that reception by mistake.
As a formal state occasion, the palace said the king would be accompanied only by members of the royal family. Sources told CNN they “imagined” an administrative error had occurred. As some media outlets reported, the couple was not “rejected” from the reception.
A spokesman for the Sussexes had no comment.
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