Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren to observe lying-in-state vigil

By George Bowden & Doug Faulkner

BBC News

Members of the public walk past Queen Elizabeth II's coffin in Westminster HallImage source, PA Media

The Queen’s grandchildren, including the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, will observe a 15-minute vigil on Saturday at her lying-in-state.

At King Charles’ request, Princes William and Harry will both wear military uniform for the occasion.

The brothers will be joined by Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn.

Prince Harry has worn a morning suit at public events since the Queen’s death.

It means the vigil will be the first time he has been seen in military uniform since stepping back as a senior royal in 2020.

Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state at Westminster Hall until Monday, the day of her funeral, with the lying-in-state queue stretching as far as Southwark Park.

Prince Harry, who served two tours in Afghanistan as part of the Army, now lives in California with his wife Meghan and their two children.

Prince Harry’s spokesperson previously said he would “wear a morning suit throughout events honouring his grandmother”.

The spokesperson added: “His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

The Prince of Wales will stand at the head of the Queen’s coffin, while the Duke of Sussex will stand at the foot, Buckingham Palace said.

The King’s request now means Prince Harry will wear military uniform for the vigil, in line with an exception already given to the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew will be allowed to wear his own military uniform at a vigil observed by the Queen’s children later on Friday, despite stepping back from royal duties in 2019.

King Charles and his three siblings, Princess Anne, the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex, will stand in a vigil at the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall.

They previously did so as the Queen lay at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

In a statement released on Friday, Prince Edward thanked the public for their support.

He said: “We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us.

“And now, we are there for her, united in grief.”

He described the “special moments” they had shared, including his memories of the Queen attending his passing-out parade in 2006 when he became an officer in the British Army.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

The Duke of Sussex wearing military uniform at his wedding, alongside his brother the Prince of Wales

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

Queen Elizabeth smiles with Prince Harry during his passing out parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in 2006

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

The Queen’s children, led by King Charles, held a vigil at the lying in state at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

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