Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle wear black veils as they mourn for the Queen
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be held on Monday, September 19, after she died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The lying-in-state commenced Wednesday, September 14, and will last until the morning of the funeral, with thousands of mourners lining up to see the Queen’s coffin ahead of the funeral. Putting their differences aside, Prince William and Prince Harry stood together with their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to honor the Queen for her lying in state service inside Westminster Hall on Wednesday.
During the service, the 'Fab Four' stood in formation facing the coffin on its purple-covered catafalque, which was flanked with a tall, yellow flickering candle at each corner of the wide scarlet platform in the heart of Westminster Hall. Both Harry and William walked side-by-side for the 38-minute procession from Buckingham Palace. Amidst funeral duties and services, many members of the royal family, including Prince William, have been seen in military uniforms, while Prince Harry was not.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, both sported black veils during the event and will be wearing it for the funeral as well. The princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex traveled in separate cars, with Meghan accompanied by the Countess of Wessex and Kate joined by Camilla, the Queen Consort. It was reported by Page Six that tradition plays an important part in all royal events and the state funeral is the biggest one in decades. One tradition that has been held at royal funerals for generations is that women of the royal family must wear a black lace veil of some form. This includes non-working members of the Royal Family as well. They are known as ‘mourning veils’ and are used to signify that the person wearing one is in mourning.
In 1952, the Queen and Queen Mother wore long black veils at King George VI’s funeral while in 2021, during Prince Philip's funeral, Kate Middleton wore a netted style black veil. The accessory might be thought of as a Victorian tradition, Queen Victoria wore a veil for the rest of her life following the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert. However, according to the royal historian, Jessica Storoschuk of An Historian About Town, the custom can be traced long before that. “The tradition of mourning veils dates back several centuries, and has a basis in monastic dress,” she said, adding that the piece “was often considered to be ‘armour’ and would shield their grief from the public.”
The Sussexes stood at the back of the group of royals, with Harry directly behind William and Meghan behind Kate. The touching moment is the first time the couples have been seen together since their surprise walkabout together at Windsor Castle on Saturday, and a rare show of togetherness. As many as 750,000 mourners are expected to walk through Westminster Hall to pay their final respects.