George and Charlotte will walk behind the coffin: The nine-year-old Prince and his seven-year-old sister will appear at the Queen’s funeral after William and Kate thought long and hard about whether to attend.
- Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, will attend the funeral
- The Prince and Princess of Wales “thought long and hard” about letting them go
- But they decided their children could handle the solemnity of the occasion
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will make a surprise appearance at their great-grandmother’s funeral today, walking behind her coffin into Westminster Abbey.
The Daily Mail understands that the Prince and Princess of Wales thought “long and hard” about whether their two eldest children, aged nine and seven, should join them.
But after George and Charlotte attended their great-grandfather’s memorial in March, William and Kate decided they could handle the solemnity of the occasion. Louis, the couple’s youngest, is only four and does not want to join.
“As parents, of course, they have thought long and hard about whether their children should follow them,” a source said. “Of course little Louis is too young, but they think George and Charlotte will manage.”
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will make a surprise appearance at their great-grandmother’s funeral today, walking behind her coffin into Westminster Abbey
It is understood the children will also be in the congregation for the obligatory service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor this afternoon. A decision must be made whether they wish to participate in the procession there as well.
George and Charlotte will travel by car to the abbey with Kate and Camilla, before joining the procession as it enters.
Before today’s state funeral service at 11am, a bell will toll 96 times, reflecting the years of Queen Elizabeth’s life. The service will, Buckingham Palace said last night, pay tribute to the Queen’s remarkable reign and lifetime as head of state, nation and Commonwealth.
It will be conducted by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, with hymns including The Lord’s My Shepherd and Love Divine. The lessons contain 1 Corinthians 15 20-26, 53-end and John 14 1-9a, with all aspects personally chosen by the Queen.
A specially commissioned choral piece, Like As The Hart, composed by Master of The King’s Music, Judith Weir, will be sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The choir will also sing a short hymn, O Taste And See, which was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
The Daily Mail understands the Prince and Princess of Wales thought “long and hard” about whether their two eldest children, aged nine and seven, should join them
The Archbishop of Canterbury will give a reading, while Prime Minister Liz Truss will read the second lesson, with prayers from leading clergy including the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of York.
Tears are sure to flow at The Last Post and Reveille, as well as the first major public rendition of the national anthem.
A rendition of Sleep, Dearie, Sleep played by the Queen’s pipers will have enormous meaning for her family.
After the service, the bells of Westminster Abbey will be rung, completely muted, as is the tradition after the sovereign’s funeral. The coffin will then continue its final journey through London and out to Windsor. The obligatory service at St George’s Chapel at 16.00 will be smaller and far more personal.
And with no cameras present, the royal family will gather for a private funeral at 7.30pm.