Queen Elizabeth II’s four children gathered together at Westminster Hall to honor their late mother.
King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew Prince Edward attended an official vigil on Friday, September 16, standing around Her Majesty’s coffin, which is lying in state at Westminster Hall in London until her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Charles, 72, Anne, 72, Andrew (63), and Edward (58) all wore uniforms as they stood still around the casket during the 15-minute vigil. The king walked first, followed closely by the Princess Royale and Duke of York as they closed the ceremony. The Earl of Wessex was the youngest sibling and walked alongside his older brothers, sisters, and cousins.
In the days since the death of the queen — who passed away “peacefully” on September 8 at the age of 96, per Buckingham Palace — her family members have been mourning publicly by greeting crowds of well-wishers, viewing tributes and speaking about what the monarch meant to them.
“To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you,” Charles, who assumed the throne upon his mother’s passing, stated in his inaugural address as king on September 9.
“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years,” he concluded. “May ‘flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’”
Anne, for her part made a touching gesture to her mother and continued her support. On Sunday, September 11, the Princess Royal curtsied in front of Elizabeth’s coffin as it arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The late sovereign — who passed away at her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland — is being honored with a week-long procession as her coffin makes its way to her final resting place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Her Majesty’s casket has been lying in state at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, September 14, and members of the public have waited up to 13 hours in line to pay their final respects to the queen.
Elizabeth, who shared her four children and husband of 73 year, Prince Philip, will be honored with a second Vigil on Saturday, September 17. The ceremony will be conducted by her grandsons Prince William Prince Harry.
Though the Duke of Sussex, 38, was initially not permitted to wear his military uniform during the vigil — as he was not allowed to during the procession since he is no longer a working royal — the palace changed its mind ahead of the ceremony, according to The MirrorRoyal expert Omid Scobie. Harry, who was close to the queen, lost his honorary medallions when he stepped down from his senior royal duties in 2020.
A source exclusively reported that Thursday, September 15, was the day before the royal change of rule. Us Weekly that Harry had “come to terms with not wearing uniform on these occasions, adding, “Whilst that’s disappointing in some senses, he’s just grateful to be present and honoring the queen. At the end of the day, it’s only a uniform.”