Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, bravely join mourners at Queen's funeral
Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined senior members of the Royal Family as they walked behind their great-grandmother’s coffin at the Queen’s funeral.
The two oldest children of the Prince and Princess of Wales – who called the Queen “Gan Gan” – have joined 2,000 world leaders, public figures and royals in Westminster Abbey.
The Queen’s children and grandchildren walked behind their mother’s coffin in a procession to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral service.
As the coffin reached the gothic church, the senior royals were joined by their wives Kate, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, as well as George and Charlotte.
The procession moved down the church aisle before the royals took their seats in the congregation and the coffin was carried to the front by soldiers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
The public appearance of the children is significant since nine-year-old George is second in line to the throne and Charlotte, aged seven, is third.
William and Kate’s youngest child, Prince Louis, has not attended the event as he is considered to be too young. The four-year-old delighted the nation by pulling faces during the Trooping the Colour parade at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Kate revealed that George has been realising how important his great-grandmother was, while Louis has been struggling to understand what has been going on.
Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley recalled a conversation he had with Kate at a reception held for Commonwealth dignitaries ahead of the funeral, saying her oldest son is “sort of now realising how important his great-grandmother was and what is going on”.
The youngest, Louis, has been asking questions about whether the family can still play games when they goes to Balmoral because the Queen will no longer be there.
At a visit to Sandringham last week, Prince William told one well-wisher that the children were “doing okay” since their great-grandmother’s death.
He said George “understands the loss” of the Queen, while his younger siblings Charlotte and Louis “less so”.
The children have been slowly introduced to royal life in recent months, joining their parents and the Queen on the Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Until today, they had not been seen in public since they started at their new school, Lambrook, in Berkshire, on the day of the Queen’s death.
Today marks the biggest moment of their lives yet, as the young royals mourn their grandmother in front of a television audience of millions across the world.
The Palace reportedly asked the Prince and Princess of Wales to consider bringing Prince George because of the message it would send to the public, as a future king.
The Prince and Princess of Wales are understood to have thought “very carefully” about how much to involve their two eldest children but they were included after it was decided that they coped well with solemnity of their great-grandfather’s memorial in March.
The young royals will also be in the congregation at the committal service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor this afternoon.
It has been reported that they may take part in the procession at Windsor, depending on how they feel after this morning’s ceremony.
Princes William and Harry walked side by side behind their grandmother’s coffin as it was carried to Westminster Abbey ahead of the funeral service.
The brothers, along with their cousin Peter Phillips, followed the Queen’s four children King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The late monarch’s casket is draped with the Royal Standard and topped with a wreath of symbolic flowers picked from the royal gardens.
The royals were joined by a congregation of world leaders, European royal families, UK politicians and celebrities. Guests filed into the abbey from 8am this morning.