King Charles looks visibly distraught as Queen's procession winds its way to Westminster Hall
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Members of Britain's Royal Family are known for their stoicism but they have been unable to hide their grief, even in front of cameras, ever since the death of their longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Try as they might to maintain a calm outward facade with a neutral expression, cracks do appear, adding to the heartbreak of it all. Such was the case when the newly-appointed monarch, King Charles III stood before his mother's coffin at Westminster Hall where she will now lie-in-state till her funeral.
His resolve faltered and the reddening of his eyes betrayed the emotions of a son mourning his beloved mother as he took a sharp intake of breath. He gazed upwards, at the angels carved on Westminster Hall's ceiling, as he willed the tears back. Such was also the case with other members of the Royal Family who followed the procession for the Queen from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on Wednesday, September 14.
Assuming new responsibilities as the monarch, King Charles has been required to maintain his composure ever since the death of the Queen on September 8. But the public and British media has not criticized him or other royals for showing their emotions as the nation joins them in their grief after the passing of their Queen.
Earlier, images of Princess Anne's tearful face had made the rounds. The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, she held back tears as she gave a curtsy to her mother's coffin as it traveled from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. Her sister-in-law, the Countess of Wessex, Sophie seemed to comfort her in that moment.
An article by the Mirror suggests that Catherine, the Princess of Wales and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex appeared to exchange words to strengthen their resolve before the procession began, heralded by the rumbling of drums and tolling of bells.
The Queen's grandchildren looked the most anguished among the royals. Standing beside his wife, Prince Harry could be seen wiping away his tears following the emotionally taxing journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey behind his grandmother's coffin. The image was reminiscent of a much-younger Harry's ordeal during the funeral of his own mother, Princess Diana, when he was merely 12.
His cousins, including Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice also wore grief-stricken expressions as they stood to the side of Westminster Hall with the rest of the family. In one image, she clutches the hand of her father, the disgraced Duke of York. The turmoil of their feelings was clearly etched on their faces.
Granddaughter of the Queen and the older child of Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor wiped away her tears as her younger brother, Viscount Severn stood next to her, looking ahead. Notably, Louise shared a warm bond with her late grandmother that stemmed from their mutual love for carriage riding.
Grief was etched on all their faces, even as the royals left Westminster Hall, with their tear-glazed eyes and solemn visages. Just as the nation mourned the death of their Queen, the Royal Family mourned and bid goodbye to their beloved family matriarch as she lay-in-state.