The children of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth set up a vigil around her coffin, after the Earl of Wessex said her death left an “unimaginable void in all of our lives” and that his family was “united in grief”.
Silent, motionless and with their heads bowed, the King and his brothers – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – paid tribute to their mother.
In uniform with their hands clenched in front, the grieving siblings stood for just over 10 minutes while people continued to stand before the Queen’s coffin, which lies in Westminster Hall.
Edward, the youngest of the Queen’s four children, said in his honor that in death, as in life, they shared their “beloved mother” with others.
The Prince, who met during the day with his well-wishers outside Windsor Castle, added: “We are overwhelmed by the wave of emotion that has swept us and the huge number of people who have gone out of their way to express themselves. Special love, admiration and respect for such a special and unique person who has always been there for us.”
“And now, we are there for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much that support is.
“The Queen’s death has left an unimaginable void in all of our lives.”
The vigil was attended by members of the royal family, including the Queen, the wife of Prince Edward, four of the Queen’s grandchildren and their wives – Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips – and members of the wider royal family.
The number of people wanting to see and invite the Queen’s coffin delayed the waiting time to over 24 hours.
Former England footballer David Beckham waited 13 hours to pay his respects, having joined the queue shortly after 2am, appearing to wipe a tear before nodding at the Queen’s coffin.
Before entering the hall he said, “We must always have respect for our Queen in the country at this time of mourning.
“But when I spoke as a former footballer and former England captain, I know what it means for us to go out on the field to represent our Queen, our country and the Three Lions.”
Earlier, Prince William told a soldier that his grandmother would “look down” at her funeral and would be interested in every detail.
William and his wife Kate visited the Pirbright Army Training Center in Surrey on Friday, where they spoke to Commonwealth troops participating in Monday’s funeral procession.
The prince was heard speaking to troops from the New Zealand Defense Forces about how the Queen will monitor Monday’s proceedings.
Greg Gifford, 31, told the Palestinian News Agency: “One of the main things I took away from what he said was how the Queen would definitely look at a full funeral.
“He said she would take care of the soldiers’ details, how the exercise was carried out, its accuracy, our dress, and things like that.”
Charles began his day with a visit to Cardiff, the last leg of his tour of the Four Nations, and paid tribute to the Queen’s commitment to Wales during his first visit to the nation as king.
She told the Welsh Parliament that she felt proud “of your many great accomplishments” and that “I felt you deeply in times of great grief” and how Wales “could not be closer to my mother’s heart”.
His speech was in response to a condolence proposal at Sinead, which came after the Queen, during a memorial service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff earlier in the day, was described as a “prominent figure on the world stage”.