Four children of Queen Elizabeth II gathered at Westminster Hall to pay tribute to their late mother.
King Charles III, Princess Anna, Prince Andrew as well as Prince Edward attended the official vigil on Friday, September 16, standing around Her Majesty’s coffin, which is located in Westminster Hall, London until her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Charles, 73, Ann, 72, Andrew, 63, and Edward, 58, dressed in uniform, stood silently surrounding the coffin for a 15-minute vigil. When they finished the ceremony, the king stepped out first, followed by the princess royal and the duke of York, side by side. The Earl of Wessex, the youngest of the brothers, followed his elder brothers and sister.
In the days following the death of the Queen, who died “peacefully” on September 8 at the age of 96, according to Buckingham Palace, members of her family mourned publicly, cheering crowds of well-wishers, viewing tributes and talking about what the monarch meant to them.
“To my dear mother, as you embark on your last great journey to join my dear late father, I just want to say this: thank you,” said Charles, who assumed the throne after the death of his mother, in his inaugural speech as king on September 9th.
“Thank you for your love and dedication to our family and the family of nations that you have served so diligently all these years,” he concluded. “Let “flocks of angels sing you to your rest.”
Anne, for her part, addressed her dead mother with a touching gesture. On Sunday, September 11, the Princess Royal curtsied in front of Elizabeth’s coffin as it arrived at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The late Empress, who passed away at her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is being honored in a week-long procession as her coffin heads to her final resting place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Her Majesty’s coffin has been in Westminster Hall since Wednesday, September 14, and members of the public waited until 1 pm in line to pay their respects to the Queen.
Elizabeth, who gave birth to four children to her late husband, Prince Philip, 73, will also be honored with a second vigil on Saturday 17 September. This ceremony will be led by her grandchildren. Prince William as well as Prince Harry.
Although the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex was not initially allowed to wear a military uniform during the vigil – as well as during the procession, since he is no longer a current member of the royal family – the palace changed its mind before the ceremony, according to Mirror and royal expert Omid Scobie. Harry, who had a close relationship with the Queen, has been stripped of his honorary military ranks after stepping down from his top royal duties in 2020.
On Thursday, September 15, the day before the change of royal rule, a source said exclusively. Us weekly that Harry “has come to terms with not wearing a uniform on these occasions, adding, “Though disappointing in some ways, he’s just grateful to be present and honoring the Queen. After all, it’s just a uniform.”