The four children of Elizabeth II, including King Charles III, watched over her coffin in London on Friday evening, surrounded by many anonymous people who braved a very long wait to greet their beloved queen before her funeral.
Placed around it, turning their backs head down, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward watched for ten minutes over the coffin draped with the royal standard and adorned with the imperial crown, placed on an imposing catafalque in the oldest room of the British Parliament, Westminster Hall.
They had already done the same on Monday in Edinburgh, where the remains of the sovereign had arrived after her death in her domain of Balmoral, in Scotland, on September 8.
For the occasion, Andrew, deprived of military titles following a sex scandal, was authorized to wear the uniform, like his siblings.
During this solemn “vigil of the princes”, a tradition dating back to the death of King George V in 1936, the crowd was able to continue to parade in front of the coffin, as it has done in a continuous flow since Wednesday afternoon.
Proof of the immense emotion aroused by the death of Queen Elizabeth, unanimously hailed for her devotion to the Crown, the interminable line to collect has continued to lengthen Friday, exceeding at one point more than 24 hours of ‘waiting.