The Queen’s children stood guard over their mother’s coffin for 15 minutes. Other members of the Royal Family were also present at the wake.
LONDON – The Queen’s four children kept vigil at their mother’s coffin for a quarter of an hour on Friday evening. King Charles III (73), Princess Anne (72), Prince Andrew (62) and Prince Edward (58) positioned themselves – all in uniform – around the coffin, put their hands together and looked down. Many other members of the Royal Family also attended the wake from a podium on the edge of Westminster Hall in Parliament, where the coffin has been laid out since Wednesday evening.
The wake is reportedly the only occasion at the funeral ceremonies that Prince Andrew will be allowed to wear a uniform. The Queen stripped her second eldest son of all military ranks earlier this year for his involvement in the abuse scandal surrounding the late US multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Snake stretches for eight kilometers
After the four Queen’s descendants had taken their places, visitors continued to stream through the medieval hall, wanting to pay their last respects to the monarch. In the evening, the queue stretched from Parliament across Lambeth Bridge and along the south bank of the Thames for about eight kilometers to the borough of Southwark. The expected waiting time was estimated at at least 22 hours. In view of the cool temperatures, people were asked to dress warmly.
There will also be a royal wake on Saturday. Then the Queen’s grandchildren, heir to the throne Prince William (40), his brother Harry (38) and their cousins will keep watch over the coffin. Harry should then exceptionally be allowed to wear a military uniform. He had voluntarily renounced the inner circle of the royal family and had to give up his ranks as a result. dpa