Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to watch the funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch on Monday, packing out streets and public spaces in central London and in Windsor, where she was laid to rest at a chapel in Windsor Castle.
The couple, now known as the Prince and Princess of Wales, were greeted by a small crowd of wellwishers upon their arrival outside a hall in central Windsor.
Prince William said he found himself ‘choked up’ when he saw Paddington Bear tributes to his grandmother, but had found comfort in the public outpouring of support for the Royal Family.
‘It is the things you don’t expect that get to you,’ he said, adding that he got ‘choked up’ over the Paddington tributes. He went on: ‘It is always very comforting that so many people care. It makes it a lot better.
‘There are certain moments that catch you out. You are prepared for all but certain moments catch you out.’
William thanked the team in Windsor for their work following the Queen’s death, adding: ‘We appreciate all the hours you put in.’
Kate added: ‘The spotlight was on Windsor and it looked incredible, so well done.’ An estimated 100,000 bouquets and other tributes were left in Windsor by well-wishers, and the Princess of Wales remarked on some of the emotional messages left with the flowers.
She asked workers: ‘How are you all doing emotionally, because it’s not only physical, particularly reading all the notes.’
Workers from the Crown Estate thanked the couple for coming to see them, but Kate replied: ‘It’s the least we could do. We should have been volunteering.’
The Princess also remarked the special site of rainbows left them surprised. ‘In Scotland, how many rainbows turned up? You hardly ever see rainbows up there, but there were five.’ Kate smiled as she replied: ‘Her Majesty was looking down on us.’
A period of national mourning ended on Tuesday, but an extended period of royal mourning for family members remains in place until Monday.
The Royal Family were not expected to carry out any official engagements during their mourning period, after more than a week of being under the world’s gaze while performing ceremonial duties following the Queen’s death.
On Wednesday, a virtual speech from William was played out to a climate change conference. Elizabeth’s only daughter, Anne, on Thursday meets Royal Navy personnel who took part in the funeral procession, while the queen’s youngest son Edward will travel to Estonia and Germany to visit troops over a three day trip.
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