Prince William and Prince Harry joined their father, King Charles III, and his three siblings as they walked in Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin procession through London on Wednesday.
Charles, his brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and his sister Princess Anne walked in a row with William and Harry side-by-side behind them as the coffin traveled from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster shortly after 2 p.m. local time.
The Royal Standard flag and the crown of state rested atop the coffin as the procession passed large crowds lining the streets to pay respects to the queen.
Upon arriving at Westminster Hall, the queen’s coffin was taken inside for a short memorial service honoring her life and devotion to her people.
In London, crowds of people sat on the sidewalks, armed with snacks and drinks for the long wait. They crowded around cellphones, watching the procession being broadcast online.
Natalie Papper, a 43-year-old self-proclaimed “total royalist,” caught a 6:30 a.m. train from Kent, about 40 miles southeast of the British capital, to witness the event.
“Considering how much she’s done for this country, she’s put us first before herself,” Papper told the Daily News, as she sat on a sidewalk beside a friend and several women they’d just met while waiting. “She hasn’t had any time, that we see as a country, it’s always that she’s always working. I think she should go out in glory.”
William and Harry were joined at the service by their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, respectively, while Camilla, queen consort, stood next to Charles.
Queen Elizabeth died last Thursday at age 96, ending her record-setting 70-year British monarchy. The 73-year-old Charles, her eldest child, was officially proclaimed monarch on Saturday.
Charles, Edward and Anne each wore military uniforms Wednesday, but Andrew did not. Andrew, who served in the Royal Navy, returned his military affiliations earlier this year amid scrutiny of his connection to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
William also wore a military uniform, while Harry wore street clothes. Harry stepped down from his senior royal duties in 2020, leaving the United Kingdom and moving with Meghan to Southern California.
William and Harry previously walked in their mother Princess Diana’s funeral procession in 1997, when they were 15 and 12 years old.
The brothers didn’t attend Monday’s earlier coffin procession in Edinburgh, but Charles and his three siblings did.
That procession in Scotland ended with a memorial service at St. Giles’ Cathedral, where the queen’s coffin remained for 24 hours for the public to say their goodbyes. Her coffin was taken to London on Tuesday.
The queen will lie in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday until next Monday, when her funeral is scheduled to take place. She will be laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle next to husband Prince Philip, who died last year at age 99.
As many as a million people were expected to visit the queen’s coffin in London over the four days of lying in state, according to CBS News.
“It felt like coming down today was just a once-in-a-lifetime historical moment that I didn’t want to miss,” Canadian-born Audrey Tan, 28, who has lived in London for five years and the U.K. for six, told the Daily News. “And, being in London, I just thought everyone around the world would be watching this and I really should take the opportunity to do something that my grandparents would have loved to do.”
She added that it was “a bit tough to swallow” that the funeral will reportedly cost billions “when we’re going into a cost-of-living crisis and people can’t turn their heat on.”
Sam Weller, who served as a cook in the army, stood proudly near Westminster Bridge, with commemorative pins attached to his lapel as he took in the scene.
“We refer to her as The Boss,” the 68-year-old, who lives just down the road, told the Daily News. “It’s an end of a very long era. But we’ve got the king, King Charles. … He has learnt her since he was knee high to a grasshopper. So he’s got a great role model.”
Weller — who said that he “did break down when I heard she died” — explained why he was there: “I’ve got to. I’ve got no choice. I’ve got to pay my respects. She was The Boss.”
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