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The Prince & Princess of Wales Visit Military Base & the Children’s Somber Vigil

The Prince & Princess of Wales Visit Military Base & the Children’s Somber Vigil

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited a military training center to thank Commonwealth troops taking part in Monday’s State Funeral.

Also, tonight the Queen’s children stood vigil at Westminster Hall.

Princess Anne as she arrived at Westminster tonight. 

The King and his siblings as they were about to enter the hall. 

Here you see all four in formation before they walk to their places. 

And as they walk to the platform with the catafalque holding the coffin.

Princess Anne became the first woman to be part of the “Vigil of the Princes.”

More from this People story

Just after 7:30 p.m. local time, the siblings joined the King’s Body Guards to ceremoniously protect the Queen’s coffin as it laid in state, draped in the Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial Crown.

After taking their positions — King Charles at one end, Prince Andrew on the other with Princess Anne and Prince Edward on either side — they bowed their heads.

From The Guardian’s coverage

King Charles, red-eyed and blinking, took up his place at the head of the coffin, the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex to each side of it, and the Duke of York at its foot.

Slowly, and in unison, they turned outwards. Then they stood, backs to the coffin, motionless, heads bowed.

This was her children’s final poignant ceremonial tribute to a mother, and their Queen, before her state funeral on Monday. And, like so many other occasions over the past week, a deeply private moment played out so very publicly.

Mourners continued to stream by as the Queen’s children stood by her coffin.

Watching from the balcony at the side of Westminster Hall, royal family members. In this screengrab, you can see the Queen Consort, the Wessex children, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Tindalls (Lena, Mike, and Zara), and the Duke of Gloucester.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex. 

King Charles.

Another view of the family attending tonight.

This image gives you a sense of how immense the hall is.

The Queen’s children as they left the floor tonight after their 15-minute vigil.

And head back up the stairs.

Tomorrow there will be a vigil of Her Majesty’s grandchildren. Victoria Murphy offers more on what we can expect in this Town and Country story.  

Tomorrow, Prince William will be joined by his brother Harry and their six cousins as the Queen’s eight grandchildren out a vigil around her coffin. William will be at the head with Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, while Harry will be at the foot of the coffin alongside Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Lady Louise and her brother James, Viscount Severn, will be either side of the middle of the coffi

We turn now to the Pirbright visit.

The royals arrived around 3:30 pm at Army Training Centre Pirbright in Surrey, about 30 miles from London.

They were there to thank troops from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand deployed for the State Funeral on Monday. 

Another view of the Princess.

A quick video. 

 From The Daily Mail’s story:

Pirbright is acting as a holding area for service personnel based outside London, where troops can train, eat and sleep before moving into the capital to deliver ‘ceremonial support’ to the funeral’.

The centre houses 750 service personnel across Defence, and Commonwealth Realm Defence Forces and has previously been used for soldiers involved in The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Princess shares a laugh with the troops. 

This is also the facility where the Duchess of Cambridge spent time last November seeing how recruits are trained and taking part in some training herself. 

Photos of her at the base were released in June to mark Armed Forces Day.

Sixty-four troops from Canada, 28 from Australia, and 25 from New Zealand are participating in the State Funeral.

From this Forces News story

William and Kate met troops from the Royal Australian Artillery, the Royal Australian Engineers, the Royal Australian Ordinance Corps, the Royal Australian Infantry, the Royal Australian Air Force Reserves and the Royal Australian Navy.

Sixty-four members of the Canadian Armed Forces will also be involved in the funeral. The Prince and Princess of Wales were able to meet with troops from the 48th Highlanders of Canada, the Governor General’s Foot Guard, the Régiment de la Chaudière, and the Canadian Armed Forces Legal Branch.

There are also 25 members of the New Zealand Defence Force playing a supporting role.This includes troops from the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps, the Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal New Zealand Navy, who also had a chance to meet the Royal couple.

More from The Telegraph’s coverage

The Prince and Princess of Wales contrasted the emotions associated with Monday’s funeral with the joyous revelry of the Platinum Jubilee just three short months ago.

William described the “highs and lows” of both occasions, while Kate said it had been was “very strange” to deal with such different events “within such a small space of time”.

The Princess of Wales… spoke to the soldiers about coping with a lack of sleep amid their long days and nights preparing for their roles.

New Zealand troops welcomed them with a traditional Haka, the ceremonial Māori dance.

The folks at Royal Central shared a video.  

Like thousands of other UK and Commonwealth military personnel, the troops at Pirbright have been practicing for their roles in Monday’s events.

We learn more from Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country story

The visit came as it was announced that approximately 6,000 service personnel from all three branches of the Armed Forces and from across the Commonwealth will be involved in the processions before and after Monday’s funeral. The Queen’s coffin will be pulled on the State Ceremonial Gun Carriage by members of the Royal Navy, a tradition since the 1901 funeral of Queen Victoria. Royal Canadian Mounted Police—or “Mounties” as they are known—will lead the procession through London after the service from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.

We return to The Telegraph’s coverage

Prince William told soldiers he thought the Queen would be “looking down on Monday, hoping it all goes well”.

He made the remarks while speaking to New Zealand soldiers who have been seconded especially for his grandmother’s funeral on Monday.

More from The Telegraph

Corporal Greg Gifford, 31, of the Royal New Zealand Infantry, told the PA news agency: “Prince William said the Queen would be looking down and studying the the details of the soldiers and the precision of the drill, which he said she really used to like.

“It is such an enormous honour to be here. William and Kate are wonderful,  so interested in us and we’re thanking us for coming over for the occasion. My mother will be watching on television and crying with pride.”

Another view of the Princess of Wales. 

As anticipated, she was in black again. The King has said the family’s mourning period would continue for a week after the funeral.

She wore a new coat that looked like many Alexander McQueen styles she has worn previously. Catherine Walker is also a strong possibility. UPDATED: With enormous thanks to Antonelle for her comment pointing it out, the coat looks like the Catherine Walker design worn for Remembrance Sunday 2020 with the fringe removed from the epaulets. The Princess wore the Queen’s Silver Jubilee earrings again and carried her Mulberry Amberley handbag. She had on a new pair of Russell & Bromley heels. That info is via the always-brilliant  Carly of Kate Middleton Style, who thinks the heels look like the 100 Point Blade style. UPDATE #2: Thank you to Elle for her comment pointing out the hat is also a repeat, the Lock & Co. Abney style worn for Remembrance Sunday 2018


The King and Queen Consort spent a good part of the day in Wales. They attended a Service of Prayer and Reflection at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff.

The King addressed the Welsh Parliament. 

More from the BBC’s coverage.  

He addressed members of the Welsh Parliament in a remembrance event at the Senedd as part of the King and Queen Consort’s tour of the UK nations. In a bilingual speech, King Charles gave the Senedd his “heartfelt thanks for your kind words”.

He added that it had been a “privilege to be Prince of Wales for so long”. The King said Prince William, who was appointed Prince of Wales last week, had a “deep love” for the nation, he added.

And the couple greeted well-wishers at Cardiff Castle. Here is a brief video.  

The King also addressed faith leaders from across the UK at a reception tonight.

From his remarks to the group:  

The beliefs that flourish in, and contribute to, our richly diverse society differ.  They, and our society, can only thrive through a clear collective commitment to those vital principles of freedom of conscience, generosity of spirit and care for others which are, to me, the essence of our nationhood.  I am determined, as King, to preserve and promote those principles across all communities, and for all beliefs, with all my heart.


Today the Earl and Countess of Wessex looked at flowers and cards left at Windsor.

The floral tributes and other items continue to be left at all of the royal residences.

The Earl thanks people gathered at Windsor.

The pair as they head back inside. 

Today Prince Edward released a statement about the loss of his mother.

We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us. And now, we are there for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means.

The Queen’s passing has left an unimaginable void in all our lives. Sophie and I have taken huge pleasure in seeing our James and Louise enjoying the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much. Given that my mama let us spend so much time with her, I think she also rather enjoyed watching those passions blossom. Those times together, those happy memories, have now become massively precious to each and every one of us.


One topic I’ve neglected because of time constraints: The Queue. That is the line to see HM Lying-In-State at Westminster Hall. The Queue is very, very long, reaching more than five miles at times. Below, people in line overnight.

As I write, the wait is more than nineteen hours, according to Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-In-State Queue Tracker. At some points, it has been 24 hours.

A brief video gives an aerial view. 

At one point today, the Queue was closed. The scene at Jubilee Gardens today.

Another view. 

From The Evening Standard’s coverage

Mourners said there was “breath-taking” serenity awaiting them in Westminster Hall where “you could hear a pin drop” in the silence.

There was a tinge of sadness, overwhelming amounts of respect and lots of good-natured chatter as strangers quickly built friendships with those walking beside them for much of the day.

Fiona Holloran, 34, wept as she left Westminster Hall after paying her respects to the Queen. The Londoner said: “It was very moving to see the vigil around her – I was a little bit surprised at how much it struck me.” The PhD student, who queued since 6.30am with her baby strapped to her in a carrier, said the wait had been “worth it”.

“It’s lovely that everyone has just a moment to themselves – no one was pushing.”

On the left, you can see Chelsea Pensioners as they paid their respects. 

A message about the Queue and HM from All on the Board

Below, people in line in Southwark Park this evening.

Tonight, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s. This was the message posted by the DCMS on Twitter as I updated the blog around 8:30. 

A reminder a live feed of the Lying-is-State is available 24 hours a day. 


Sky News offers full coverage (about 13 minutes) of tonight’s vigil. 

 The Royal Family Channel has coverage of the family at tonight’s vigil. 

The Royal Family Channel has coverage of the Pirbright visit. 

 This Royal Family Channel video gives you an idea of just how long the line is and how many are willing to make the trip. 

 Like thousands of others, David Beckham spent 12 hours in line to pay his respects to Her Majesty. 


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Sunday 18th of September 2022

These are sombre times indeed for our community and it is a great privilege to be in such good company as we go through them. I was surprised when I saw how Catherine was dressed on this occasion, my befuddled head thought there might be casualwear for another attempt at an assault course.

But no. That was back in her duchess days, and what we have here is very definitely the Princess of Wales. Higher status means higher profile, and the full regal ensemble of coat, hat, and bag. I find it very skilled that a Catherine Walker coat could be repeated with minor alteration and matched with a smart repeat Locke & Co hat. I love the Mulberry bag, and with her hair up and those prized pearl earrings, Catherine looks every inch the responsible royal she is.

I appreciated the dignified family vigil and how beautifully all the ceremony is being executed. And I can only thank admin from the bottom of my heart for another first-class post at a time when I'm struggling to be able to write,


Saturday 17th of September 2022

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Her HAIR! It's just superb. I read on twitter a comment where someone said, "this is the queue we've been training for all our lives!"


Saturday 17th of September 2022

Regarding the que, I want to share something I just read over at The Telegraph, the warm words of Prince William for the people on the que:

"Saying he hoped people were making “friends for life” while waiting in line, where they have been moving almost constantly for 12 hours at that point, he shook hundreds of hands and repeatedly told people he hoped they were not too cold and tired. “It means an awful lot that you’re here, it really does,” he said. “You’re doing an amazing job.”

(Clearly, Prince William and the other Royals very much appreciate and are heartened by all the love from the people to them in their grief! So beautiful! And also he longest que the world has ever seen)!


Saturday 17th of September 2022

I found it to be very emotional, to see Queen Elizabeth's children standing completely still on the platform in front of their mother's coffin, with their heads bowed, utterly motionless, for an entire 15 minutes, as all crowds of people respectfully walked passed them. I can't imagine how painful it must have been for them, in the immensity of their grieving, that King Charles and his siblings were able keep their vigil so impressively. I would think that it must have been incredibly difficult for them on all levels, yet, once again, they showed their love for their mother and for the people, by performing such a duty in so regal a way. On a much lighter note, I adore the que sign! It is so Endearing, and adds a bit of loving fun, in tribute to the countless people paying their respects, and giving their Love to the Royal Family. Without these masses of people, willing to wait hours and hours upon hours, it would be a very lonely thing, the funeral of the Queen, for the Royals and for all of us. I think Queen Elizabeth must be checking in on the que, from time to time, up in Heaven, and feeling so much Love and Gratitude for *Her People*! So: Hats off to the People who Que! And for all the people who so generously give their Love to the Royals! Now, onto the Princess of Wales and what she wore: I so admire the classic, almost severe, and extremely elegant beauty of the entire outfit that the Kate is wearing. (I also used the link provided to take a look at this same coat, but with the epaulets attached - for Remembrance Sunday, 2020. In truth, I had expected to see something considerably more bold, and definitely Less subtle, then the epaulets I actually did see: a lovely, delicate, graceful fringe in darkest black, barely standing out from the black of the coat, itself. Ater seeing Kate's coat, with and without the epaulets, I can say that I love both versions, and that I agree with Eliza Mo, in her statements on that previous post, that the epaulets are a very lovely way of honoring the military). Kate's outfit is a true joy to behold, even for such a somber and sad time. Kate is the complete epitome of style and grace in what she wears as she honors Queen Elizabeth's passing, and she continues to visually communicate her love, her sorrow, and her respect, for her mother-in-law, with what she wears. (She also looks so gorgeous in her hat, a wonderfully styled hat, that I would love to see her wear on future occasions, maybe in different colors, albeit, it is undeniably stunning in black).


Saturday 17th of September 2022


She is still wearing the epaulets. The fringe from the epaulets has been removed. :) This is more modern military has modern military uniforms (in the USA at least) have 86-ed the fringe. The coat it beautiful both ways, but I think I prefer it no fringe. Slightly more modern.


Saturday 17th of September 2022

The Princess of Wales hat is also a ‘rewear’ from Remembrance day 2018


Saturday 17th of September 2022

Thank you, Elle!

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