Prince Harry and Prince William united in grief as they walk side-by-side in procession to honor grandma Queen Elizabeth
LONDON, UK: As the Queen's coffin left Buckingham Palace before her laying in state, Prince William and Prince Harry marched together behind their father, King Charles III, to show their unity in this time of grief. The procession through London this afternoon included Charles, William, and Harry. The king and his two sons were united in their sorrow for a mother and grandmother who left the palace for the last time. The royal family travelled on foot with their grandmother to Westminster Hall, where hundreds of thousands of mourners are anticipated to pay their respects over the next four days after standing in line for hours.
This is their second show of unity in public. Four days ago William and Harry, together with their respective spouses, Kate and Meghan, unexpectedly set aside their differences to perform the walkabout outside Windsor Castle to inspect the floral tributes for the Queen on Saturday, Sept 10. Harry also offered the Queen an emotional tribute on Monday, Sept 12, thanking her for her "wise counsel" and "infectious grin." He also referred to her as a "guiding compass" because of her dedication to duty and service.
This afternoon, the procession included King Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York, Princess Royal, and the Earl of Wessex. Along with the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon, Anne's son Peter Phillips and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. The Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Sussex, the Princess of Wales, and the Queen Consort followed in a car. At precisely 2.22 pm, the caravan departed from the palace and arrived at Westminster Hall at 3 pm.
The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will lead a service that lasts around 20 minutes. Despite the well-known issues in their relationship, William and Harry have unexpectedly declared a temporary truce of sorts. Prince WIlliam was even seen making a warm gesture towards Meghan just before the Fab Four’s walkabout outside Windsor Castle. William and Harry were greeting an aide prior to their walk-about, when a confident Kate came around from the other side of the car to join her husband. But Meghan was being cautious in her movements and was left on her own, separated from the group. This was when the Prince of Wales gently gestured towards the Duchess of Sussex, inviting her to join their conversation. Later, William hopped into the driver's seat of an Audi with his wife in the passenger seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the rear and left together.
The King mentioned his affection for Harry and Meghan in his broadcast to the country last Friday night, stating, "I want to also convey my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their life overseas." Harry later stated that he wished to honour his father at the beginning of his reign as King in his tribute to his grandmother. Harry said in his statement on Sept 12, "We are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her devotion to service and duty as we celebrate the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, and as we grieve her passing."
"She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy. Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: 'Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.''' He added: "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings-from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren."
"I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."
When the Queen had attended a ceremony of gratitude in St Paul's Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee festivities in June, Charles and his two boys were last spotted together in public. But on that particular occasion, Harry and Meghan were sat in the second row, across from Charles and William and behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Harry and Meghan made their first public appearance with the Windsors at the Jubilee ceremony at St Paul's following their resignation as senior royals in the wake of the Megxit scandal in 2020.
When Harry and William followed the Duke of Edinburgh's casket at his burial in April 2021, they joined their father behind the coffin. But Peter Phillips, their cousin, was tasked with keeping the brothers apart by walking between them in the procession. But at one point, he backed up a half-step, making them seem closer. Following the funeral, William and Harry were observed chit-chatting as they made their way back up the hill to the castle from the chapel. During the Commonwealth Day church service in March 2020, William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan last stood side by side in front of the public.
Those who wish to attend the Queen's laying in state, which begins at 5 p.m. today and lasts until 6.30 a.m. on September 19, the day of the Queen's funeral, have already started to line up. According to government advice, there won't be many opportunities to sit down, and the line is likely to be lengthy, with many standing for "several hours, maybe overnight."