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Tears of Edward and Sophie of Wessex at the funeral of Elizabeth II

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Prince Edward could not hold back his tears during the funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Abbey, September 19, 2022. An emotion shared by his wife Sophie who considered the late sovereign as his second mother .

He struggles to contain his emotion. The pain is too strong for Prince Edward who cracks under the weight of sadness. Wearing the white gloves of his Honorary Royal Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry uniform, he wipes tears from his eyes. At his side, his wife Sophie, also overcome by emotion, discreetly pulls out a handkerchief.

On September 19, 2022, two thousand people gathered in Westminster Abbey for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. A last tribute from all over the world to the one who reigned for more than seventy years over the United Kingdom, the kingdoms and the Commonwealth.

An “unimaginable void”

Seated in the front row, the couple faces the coffin of the deceased sovereign covered with the royal standard and on which have been placed the Imperial State Crown, the specter and the globe. The loss of their mother and mother-in-law is immense for Edward and Sophie of Wessex, as is their two children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, who took their place behind them.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022. © Agency / Bestimage

The serious face, the drawn features, the Earl and Countess of Wessex remain dignified despite their pain and support their loved ones in this period of mourning. Shortly before the start of the ceremony, Sophie placed a comforting hand on Prince George’s shoulder as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin entered the Abbey. The nine-year-old boy attended his first royal funeral with his sister Princess Charlotte.

Being at Westminster Abbey also revives for the Wessex the memory of Prince Philip and the tribute paid to him there last March. In a year and a half, Prince Edward and his wife said goodbye to the two people who have counted the most in their lives in recent decades.

On September 16, the youngest son of Elizabeth II published a press release in which he evokes the “unimaginable void” left by the death of the queen. “Sophie and I enjoyed seeing James and Louis enjoying the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much. Since my mother let us spend a lot of time with her, I think she also enjoyed seeing these passions flourish,” he adds. Lady Louise has indeed inherited her attraction for driving from her grandfather, Prince Philip. Cherishing these happy memories spent in the company of his mother, the Earl of Wessex wishes “long life to the king”, his elder brother King Charles III.

Edward and Sophie of Wessex were very close to Queen Elizabeth, here at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2022.
Edward and Sophie of Wessex were very close to Queen Elizabeth, here at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2022. © Dana Press / Bestimage

Like the entire royal family, the past two weeks have been particularly trying for the Earl and Countess of Wessex. On September 10, 2022, just two days after the disappearance of Elizabeth II, the couple accompanied their loved ones during a mass in memory of the sovereign at Balmoral in Scotland.

Eyes reddened, kneeling in front of the bouquets of flowers placed in front of the gates of the castle, Sophie de Wessex seemed particularly affected by the loss of the queen who considered her as her “second daughter”. Again, the sister-in-law of King Charles III was overcome with emotion during the vigil of the eight grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Hall on September 17. Surrounded by their cousins, her two children, Louise and James, paid homage to their beloved grandmother.

Sophie and Edward of Wessex at Westminster Hall, September 17, 2022.
Sophie and Edward of Wessex at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2022, during the vigil for the grandchildren of Elizabeth II. © Aaron Chown/PA Wire

At 5 p.m. French time, a second mass will take place in St George’s Chapel in Windsor where the late sovereign will rest alongside her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, her sister Princess Margaret and her husband Prince Philip. Edward and Sophie de Wessex will participate in this last farewell which promises to be particularly moving.