Prince William and Harry walk side-by-side in echo of Diana’s funeral 25 years ago

Reunited in honour of granny: Prince William and Harry walk side by side behind the Queen’s coffin in an echo of their mother Diana’s funeral 25 years ago

  • King Charles III walks in front of his sons Prince William and Prince Harry in the procession through London
  • Father and sons were united for a mother and grandmother who left Buckingham Palace for the final time
  • It comes after William and Harry did walkabout outside Windsor Castle with Kate and Meghan on Saturday
  • Harry has also paid emotional tribute to Queen as he thanked her for ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’

Prince William and Prince Harry walked together behind their father King Charles III in a show of unity today as they followed the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace ahead of her lying in state.

The presence of Charles, William and Harry in the procession through London this afternoon saw the father and sons united in their grief for a mother and grandmother who left the palace for the final time.

The Royal Family accompanied their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects over the next four days after queueing for hours.

William’s wife Kate Middleton followed behind in a car with Queen Consort Camilla, while Harry’s wife Meghan Markle travelled in a vehicle with Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Kate and Meghan then later walked into Westminster Hall together with William and Harry, and they stood side by side during a 20-minute service.

Harry and William had walked behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana during her funeral in 1997 and Harry later said in an interview in 2017: ‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.’

Four days ago, William and Harry again put aside their differences for an unexpected united front with their respective wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle during a walkabout outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.

And on Monday, Harry paid an emotional tribute to the Queen as he thanked her for her ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’. He also described her as a ‘guiding compass’ through her commitment to service and duty.

This afternoon, Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, formed part of the procession. Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence also walked behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.

The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex all travelled by car. The procession left the palace at precisely 2.22pm and arrived at Westminster Hall at 3pm.

A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby accompanied by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle.

William and Harry have a well-documented troubled relationship but the death of their grandmother saw them unexpectedly come together when they viewed floral tributes left to the Queen at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan arrived in the same vehicle and greeted well-wishers for around 40 minutes before William hopped into the driver’s seat of the Audi with his wife in the passenger seat, and his brother and sister-in-law in the back.

In his televised address to the nation last Friday evening, the King talked of his love for Harry and Meghan, saying: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’

Then in Harry’s tribute to his grandmother he said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as King.

In a statement released on Monday, Harry said: ‘In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen – and in mourning her loss – we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty.

‘She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy.

‘Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.”

He added: ‘Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings-from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.

‘I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.

‘And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III. Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice.

‘Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.’

The last time Charles and his two sons were all seen together in public was at the service of thanksgiving for the Queen in St Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

But on that occasion, Harry and Meghan were seated some distance from Charles and William on the other side of the aisle in the second row, behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

The Jubilee service at St Paul’s was Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance alongside the Windsors since they stepped down as senior royals in 2020 amid the Megxit storm.

In April 2021, Harry and William joined their father when they walked behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral.

The brothers were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips but he dropped back half a pace at one point so the siblings appeared closer together.

After the funeral service, William and Harry could be seen chatting as they walked back up the hill from the chapel to the castle.

Two years have passed since William, Kate, Harry and Meghan were previously together side-by-side in public, during the Commonwealth Day church service in March 2020.

Mourners have already joined the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state which begins at 5pm this afternoon, continuing until 6.30am on Monday September 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.

Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’ and with very little opportunity to sit down.

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