Accompanying Queen on final journeys has been 'an honour and privilege', says Princess Anne

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The Princess Royal said it has been "an honour and a privilege" to accompany the Queen on her final journey from Balmoral to London.

In her first statement since the death of her mother on Thursday, Princess Anne said: "I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother's life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys.

"Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.

"We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss."

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The Princess Royal accompanied the Queen's coffin when it left Balmoral on Sunday and was taken to Edinburgh.

On Monday the King and his siblings took part in the poignant Vigil of the Princes at St Giles' Cathedral.

Princess Anne stayed by her mother's side as the coffin was flown from Scotland to RAF Northolt this afternoon, ahead of its arrival at Buckingham Palace.

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Princess Anne, 72, concluded her statement with a message of thanks to well-wishers who have shown support for the King.

"We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added
responsibilities of the Monarch," she said.

"To my mother, the Queen, thank you."