Prince William, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II’s other grandchildren held a vigil at her lying in state on Saturday, as the royal family prepares to bid farewell to the late monarch at her state funeral.
The brothers stood watch for 15 minutes over the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall, where it has been displayed to the public since Wednesday.
They were joined by Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Prince Andrew’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, who are the children of Prince Edward. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were present to support their children as Louise and James are comparatively younger than their cousins, a royal source told CNN.
Harry wore military uniform during the appearance at the request of King Charles III, a royal source previously told CNN. As a non-working member of the royal family, he has appeared at other events in a morning suit.
The grandchildrens’ vigil followed a similar appearance by Charles and his siblings on Friday. It comes two days before the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. The monarch died on September 8 after a 70-year-reign, prompting a lengthy period of mourning and a number of commemorations around the country.
William and Harry have set aside long-running tensions to make joint appearances at some events. A walkabout by the brothers and their wives Catherine, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in Windsor last weekend came as a surprise and was not announced in advance. William invited the Sussexes to see memorials left for the Queen and greet well-wishers, a source told CNN.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie issued a joint statement Saturday thanking their “dear Grannie” and “beloved Queen” and expressing their sorrow at her passing.
“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly,” the daughters of Prince Andrew said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.
“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever. For now dear Grannie, all we want to say is thank you,” Eugenie and Beatrice said. “The world mourns you and the tributes would really make you smile. They are all too true of the remarkable leader you are,” the sisters added.
“We’re so happy you’re back with Grandpa. Goodbye dear Grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we’re so very proud of you,” the statement said.
Earlier on Saturday, King Charles and Prince William, the Prince of Wales, greeted members of the public queuing to see the Queen’s lying in state on Saturday on a surprise walkabout in London.