King Charles III was accompanied by Prince William and Prince Harry who walked side by side as Queen Elizabeth II's casket left Buckingham Palace for Westminster Hall on Wednesday. The father and sons were united in their sorrow for a mother and grandmother who had left the palace for the last time.
Wednesday's scene in London brought alive memories of the trio walking exactly in the same position 25 years ago during Diana's funeral procession. Besides King Charles' children, the 73-year-old monarch's siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, also followed the coffin side by side. At the funeral procession for their grandfather Prince Philip in April 2021, cousin Peter walked between the brothers.
United in Grief
William, Prince of Wales, and Harry, the Dutch of Sussex, were united in grief as they joined their father King Charles III, and walked side by side as Queen Elizabeth II's casket left Buckingham Palace for the final time.
William, 40, and Harry, 37, walked next to each other, mirroring the positions they took after their mom, Princess Diana, who died in August 1997 at age 36. Princess Diana's funeral was held in September 1997.
The Royal Family traveled on foot with the matriarch to Westminster Hall, where hundreds of thousands of mourners are anticipated to pay their respects over the course of the next four days after standing in line for hours.
Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, followed behind in a car with the Queen Consort Camilla, while Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, rode behind with Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Later, Kate, Meghan, William, and Harry entered Westminster Hall together, and they stood side by side for the 20-minute service.
This comes four days after William and Harry, along with their respective wives Kate and Meghan, unexpectedly set aside their differences to form a united front outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.
Nation in Grief
As the royals followed the Queen's casket, thousands of mourners queued up on both sides of the road to watch their beloved Queen for the last time. Loyal members of the late Queen's staff, including two of the Queen's Pages and the Palace Steward, who walked in front of the coffin, participated in the parade as well.
Other devoted members of the late Queen's Household who supported the monarch in her everyday activities and in the performance of her duties were also seen at the procession.
They included Sir Edward Young, her longtime senior aide, and Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, who is in charge of managing the royal family's assets.
350,000 are expected to file past Her Majesty's coffin over the coming days although up to one million people are expected to flood into London to pay their respects.
It comes at the same time that a Cabinet Office source informed The Sun that on Wednesday morning, anticipated queue times jumped from 200 to 2,000 hours in just two hours, which is equivalent to 83 days.
However, all eyes were on William and Harry. The Duke of Sussex was dressed in a suit since he was not permitted to wear his military uniform, whilst the newly crowned Prince of Wales was dressed in military attire.
Prince Harry addressed the uniform snub in a statement posted on Tuesday. After leaving the royal family in January 2020, the former pilot lost three honorary military titles. "Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will wear a morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother," a spokesperson told Page Six.
"His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears, and we respectfully ask that focus remains on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."
Harry has been separated from William since he formally left his royal duties in February 2021, but on Saturday, the siblings publicly reconnected with their wives for the first time in two years.
The Fab Four did a royal walkabout outside Windsor Castle, with the former Duke of Cambridge initiating the joint outing.