Queen Elizabeth: Princes William and Harry hold a vigil by their grandmother’s coffin



London
CNN

Prince William, Prince Harry and other grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II held a vigil as she lay in state on Saturday as the royal family prepares to say goodbye to the late monarch at her state funeral.

The brothers stood for 15 minutes in Westminster Hall over the Queen’s coffin, which has been on public display since Wednesday.

They were joined by Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, Prince Edward’s children. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were there to support their children, who are younger than their cousins ​​Louise and James, a royal source told CNN.

Harry wore a military uniform to the appearance at the request of King Charles III, a royal source previously told CNN. As a non-working member of the royal family, he has appeared at other events in a morning suit.

The vigil for the grandchildren followed a similar outing by Charles and his siblings on Friday. It comes two days before the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. The monarch died on September 8 after a reign of 70 years, causing a long mourning and various commemorations throughout the country.

Queen Elizabeth II's grandchildren hold a vigil next to their grandmother's coffin in Westminster Hall on Saturday.

William and Harry have put aside longstanding tensions to appear together at a number of events. Last weekend in Windsor the brothers and their wives Catherine, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Cambridge, was a surprise and was not announced in advance. William invited the Sussexes to see the memorials left for the Queen and greet them, a source told CNN.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie issued a joint statement on Saturday thanking their “beloved grandmother” and “beloved Queen” and expressing sorrow at her death.

“We, like many, thought you would be here forever. And we all miss you terribly,” Prince Andrew’s daughters said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You have taught us so much and we will treasure those lessons and memories forever. For now, dear grandma, that’s all we want to thank you for,” said Eugenie and Beatrice. “The world makes you cry and the tributes will really make you smile. All are true of the outstanding leader you are,” the sisters added.

“We are so happy that you are back with grandpa. Goodbye dear grandma, it has been the honor of our lives to have your grandchildren and we are very proud of you,” the statement read.

The vigil in Westminster Hall lasted 15 minutes.

Earlier on Saturday, King Charles and Prince William, Prince of Wales, greeted members of the queue to see the Queen lying in state during a surprise tour of London on Saturday.

The royals were seen shaking hands with well-wishers by Lambeth Bridge. Prince William appeared to be in good spirits as he chatted with the crowd and asked several people how long they had been waiting.

Watch as King Charles and Prince William surprise people queuing to see the Queen

Some mourners chanted “hip hip hooray” and “God save the king” as Charles passed.

A woman brought Charles a Paddington Bear toy; the fictional bear has been associated with the Queen since she appeared in a sketch alongside the character during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

People have been queuing to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin since it began to lie in state in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

The line was close to full capacity on Saturday, the government said. As of noon Saturday, the government’s queue tracker said the current wait was 14 hours.

Charles III also visited the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police in the London district of Lambeth to thank the police and emergency services officials who had been involved in the planning and execution of the events since the Queen’s death.

The Queen’s funeral on Monday will be the “biggest police event” ever carried out by London’s Metropolitan Police force, Deputy Commissioner Stuart Cundy told media on Friday.

On Sunday, King Charles will host a reception at Buckingham Palace for “Heads of State and official foreign guests” ahead of the Queen’s state funeral.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, received an invitation to the reception by mistake, a source familiar with the incident told CNN.

As an official state event, the Palace said the king would attend only with staff members of the royal family. The source told CNN they “imagined” an administrative error had occurred. The couple was not “disinvited” from the reception, according to some media reports.

A spokesman for Sussex had no comment.

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