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King Charles III and the Prince of Wales paid a visit to the thousands of mourners queuing to see the Queen lying in waiting on Saturday (17.09.22).
The new monarch and the first in line to the British throne surprised those taking hours out of their day to pay their respects to the late queen – who died aged 96 on September 8 – at Westminster Hall, with Prince William quipping that his father is “a lot quicker” than him.
They were met with huge cheers as they shook hands with members of the public at Lambeth Bridge, south London.
Many shouted “God Save the King”, “God Save the Prince of Wales” and “we love you William”.
One queuer had come all the way from the Czech Republic, and the prince told them: “Unbelievable. She [the Queen] would never believe this, honestly. It’s amazing.”
William, 40, joked at one point that his 73-year-old father was racing along the metal barriers between the royals and the public, while he held back and spoke with them.
He smiled: “My father’s way quicker than me.”
This morning, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s queue tracker said the queue from Southwark Park had a wait time of “at least 24 hours”.
Meanwhile, the queen’s eight grandchildren (Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn) will take part in their own vigil today (17.09.22), after their parents held one last night.
Charles, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward led a 15-minute vigil to their mother while wearing military dress as they stood by her coffin.
King Charles – who acceded to the throne the moment his mother passed – was near the head of the coffin while his siblings were arranged on the other sides.
Members of the public continued to move past the coffin in silence.
Eugenie and Beatrice – who are the daughters of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess York, – could be seen on the platform to the side of the coffin along with their cousins Zara and Peter.
King Charles – who was seen to arrive at the hall a little before 7.30pm – left the event just before 8:15pm as the crowds outside cheered.
Members of the public wishing to pay their respects to the monarch have been warned they need to be in the queue by 12.30am on Monday (19.09.22) in order to make it into Westminster Hall before it closes at 6.30am, just hours before the queen’s funeral is to take place at Westminster Abbey.