King Charles III and son Prince William made a surprise visit to greet the crowds of mourners waiting outside London’s Westminster Abbey to view the body of the Queen, where queue times have been in excess of 14 hours.
The Daily Mail reports that Charles and William made a surprise walkabout outside Westminster Abbey on Sunday, where Queen Elizabeth II is laying in state in preparation for her funeral on Monday, Sept. 19.
After offering their thanks to the emergency services staff who’ve been overseeing the massive crowds, the royals greeted some of the thousands waiting in line along London’s South Bank.
Charles and William were greeted with cheering and applause, along with shouts of “hip hip hooray” and “God Save the King.”
Charles shook hands and exchanged words with many onlookers as he met with people positioned behind metal barricades, with one even offering the royals a stuffed Paddington Bear toy.
King Charles and Prins William is meeting people in the queue. The King appologizes for the long waiting time – it is now around 24 hours pic.twitter.com/UfEt9speRY
— Milcotto (@milcotto) September 17, 2022
William also shook hands with mourners.
“It means an awful lot you’re here. She [the Queen] would never believe this,” he told the crowd.
“You’ll make some friends for life,” he added, referring to people who’d met while waiting together in the long lines.
William also told onlookers that wife Kate Middleton and their children George, Charlotte and Louis were “okay” and “all united in grief,” but reportedly became emotional when asked about his late grandmother’s beloved corgis. “They are being looked after,” he shared, “they have gone to a very good home.” (The Queen’s corgis will reportedly live with Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.)
BREAKING: The new Prince of Wales Prince William has joined the King to meet those in the long #QueueForTheQueen close to Lambeth Bridge opposite Westminster Hall.
🎥 @itvnews pic.twitter.com/jKFvxH75fQ
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 17, 2022
Final preparations are underway for Monday’s funeral, which is expected to be attended by more than 2,000 dignitaries from throughout the world, including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and many more.
In addition, international royalty expected to attend includes Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.