Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips looks deep in thought during procession

Peter Philips looked deep in thought as he walked behind the Queen’s coffin during the Sovereign’s poignant funeral procession this afternoon.

The Princess Royal’s son, 44, looked smart in a black suit as he took his place next to Prince William, Prince Harry and King Charles behind Her Majesty as she was carried down The Mall on a gun carriage on Wednesday.

Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence also walked behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.

Her Majesty’s children and grandchildren, led by King Charles III, delivered her to Westminster where she is laid to rest after a short service that the late monarch had put together with the Church of England before she died aged 96.

From 5pm mourners will be able to file past the coffin to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch with an estimated 1million people expected to queue for up to 30 hours to see her before the state funeral on Monday.

At 2.22pm today Her Majesty was carried down The Mall on a gun carriage – a tradition dating back to the death of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria in 1901 – as her children, grandchildren and other senior royals marched behind in time to a funeral march.

The Queen arrived at Westminster Hall 38 minutes later at 3pm – where she was placed on a catafalque – a raised platform, with her crown, orb and sceptre placed on top. The monarch will lie in state there for four days and five nights until her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

The Queen’s first grandchild was born to Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, on November 15, 1977.

In 2016, Peter spoke candidly about what it’s like to have The Queen as his grandmother. Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the son of Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips admitted that it is a ‘little strange’ but said his childhood was an extremely jubilant one.

Speaking to hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard, The Queen’s eldest grandchild said: ‘I guess it’s a little strange but if you’re growing up with that sort of thing, there’s never really that moment when you go, ‘Oh wow’.’

At the time, he admitted he had a lot of fond memories of growing up as part of the royal household and being so close to The Queen.

‘We had great fun growing up on our holidays, going to stay with her at Sandringham, Balmoral and Windsor and we were incredibly lucky to be able to share a lot of our childhood time with her,’ he said.

‘She’s such an inspiration, not only to the country but to us as a family.’

He continued: ‘You know, her work ethic and her dedication is something that I think the whole family has always inspired to, at least get somewhere near.’

At 2.22pm today Her Majesty was carried down The Mall on a gun carriage – a tradition dating back to the death of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria in 1901 – as her children, grandchildren and other senior royals marched behind in time to a funeral march.

The Queen arrived at Westminster Hall 38 minutes later at 3pm – where she was placed on a catafalque – a raised platform, with her crown, orb and sceptre placed on top. The monarch will lie in state there for four days and five nights until her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

William and Harry again set aside their feud and stood next to each other as they accompanied their beloved grandmother to Parliament. Their wives travelled separately in cars behind.

During the service, the senior royals stood in formation facing the coffin on its purple-covered catafalque, which was flanked with a tall, yellow flickering candle at each corner of the wide scarlet platform.

The King and Queen Consort stood together a metre or so apart, with the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence behind them, then the Duke of York alone, and in the next row the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Behind them were the Prince and Princess of Wales, with the Duke of Sussex behind William, and the Duchess of Sussex directly behind Kate. The Cross of Westminster was placed at the head of the coffin.

The procession poignantly passed the statue of the Queen’s parents King George VI and the Queen Mother which overlooks The Mall. The Imperial State Crown, worn by the Queen on the way back to Buckingham Palace after her Coronation, glittered in the daylight as the crowds held aloft their phones to capture the scenes.

After a 38 minute journey to the cradle of British democracy, the coffin was brought into the Houses of Parliament via the Carriage Gates entrance and passed through New Palace Yard, which features at its centre a fountain to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The King and the Queen Consort led the Royal Family into Westminster Hall – with William and Kate standing in front of Harry and Meghan during the 20 minute service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route but there was a silent reverence as the coffin appeared. There were some muted cheers and clapping and cries of God Save the Queen as well as many tears shed as the late monarch left her London home for the final time. All viewing areas on The Mall, Whitehall and Parliament Square were full by 1pm – with people turned away.

The Queen’s coffin was draped with the Royal Standard and adorned with the glittering, priceless Imperial State Crown on a purple velvet cushion and a wreath of white flowers for the procession to the lying in state. The flowers were white roses, spray white roses, white dahlias and foliage, including pine from the gardens at Balmoral and pittosporum, lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor.

The procession left the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm. A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.

Princess Anne, who has remained with her mother since she died last Thursday, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also followed the coffin on the 1.2mile journey to Westminster Hall – the ancient heart of the Houses of Parliament where up to 1million Britons hope to see the Queen lying in state there as her father and mother did in 1952 and 2002.

Queen Consort Camilla, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex followed by car. Zara and Mike Tindall. Princess Beatrice, her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank are also taking part. But Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson did not receive an invite because of their divorce.

The occasion is heavy with historical significance, with brothers Prince William and Prince Harry setting aside their ongoing feud to support their father by marching with him behind the coffin. For William and Harry it will bring back painful memories of when they, aged 15 and 12, walked behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana in 1997.

The Queen’s coffin was borne on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – poignantly used for the coffins of the late Queen’s mother and father.

Known as the George Gun Carriage, it carried King George VI from Sandringham Church to Wolferton Station after his death in 1952 and was used in the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002.

The royals moved in time to the imposing funeral marches, in step with one another and the troops.

William stared straight ahead as he processed directly behind his father the King, in keeping with his place as the new heir to the throne.

Charles, in his Field Marshal uniform, held onto the end of his Field Marshal Baton, which was presented to him by his mother when he became Field Marshal in 2012.

Solemn members of the Royal Family gathered this lunchtime to prepare to accompany the Queen for her poignant final journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state for the next five nights.

The crowd burst into applause and cheers as King Charles III passed the Victoria Memorial in his state Rolls Royce as he was taken into the residence, followed later by Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and Queen Consort Camilla.

Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the route as they do so. The Queen’s other children Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne will also form part of the procession through London.

Her Majesty spent her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace before she will be conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – where she will lie in state until 6.30am next Monday, the day of her funeral.

More than one million people are expected to queue in Central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her coffin – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed.

Mourners have also been joining the queue to attend the lying in state, opening at 5pm tonight. Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’.

The queuing infrastructure for the Queen’s lying in state is 10 miles in length, it is understood. This includes 6.9 miles from Victoria Tower Gardens to Southwark Park, with a further three miles inside Southwark Park.

The Queen arrived at the palace last night to tears and cheers from the crowds who stood in the rain to welcome her home after her death at Balmoral last Thursday. The route from RAF Northolt to the palace was packed.

There was a wave of lights as many raised their mobile phones in the air to film the hearse as it passed. As the hearse drove through the gates, Charles could be seen bowing his head with Harry and Meghan stood behind.

 

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