While greeting members of the public and viewing tributes left for the Queen at Sandringham, Prince William opened up about how the Queen’s coffin procession stirred up a “few memories” of his mother’s funeral.
The Prince of Wales walked side by side with his brother, Prince Harry, as their grandmother’s decorated coffin was brought from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14 for Her Majesty’s Lying in State ceremony.
Despite years of tensions plaguing the brother’s relationship, the pair walked behind their father King Charles III and his siblings Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Princess Royal, Anne.
United in their sorrow, the brother’s appearance was reminiscent of 25 years ago when the Princes came together in a similar fashion for the funeral of their mother, Princess Diana.
While speaking with fellow mourners at Sandringham, Prince William reflected on the similarities he experienced during Wednesday’s procession for the Queen and walking behind his mother’s coffin in 1997 when he was only 15 years old.
“The walk yesterday was challenging,” he was heard telling one woman.
“Brought back a few memories.”
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In a statement delivered on Saturday, September 10, Prince William expressed his grief following the loss of his grandmother but also spoke of the support he received from the Queen during such difficult times.
“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign,” he said.
“I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade. My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.
“I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.
“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honour her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.”
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Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen’s 70-year reign came to an end on Thursday, September 8 at 6.30pm London time at Balmoral, triggering an outpouring of grief from across the globe.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the statement read.
The Queen’s State Funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19.