Earl and Countess of Wessex meet mourners on walkabout in Windsor

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The Earl of Wessex meeting well-wishers outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire (PA) (PA Wire)
The Earl of Wessex meeting well-wishers outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire (PA) (PA Wire)

The Earl and Countess of Wessex received a warm welcome as they arrived to view a sea of flowers and tributes left for the Queen during a walkabout in Windsor.

Edward and Sophie smiled and laughed as they shook hands and accepted bouquets from mourners lined up outside Cambridge Gate on Friday.

Sophie promised one well-wisher “I will lay them for you” as she was given the flowers, which she said were “lovely”.

The Queen’s youngest son asked well-wishers where they were from and told them “thank you very much indeed” after paying tribute to “our beloved mama” in a statement earlier in the afternoon.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In the statement, Edward thanked the public for their support, saying they had “no idea how much it means”.

Hundreds of mourners continue to attend the royal residence daily to pay their respects to the Queen.

More than 50,000 stems have been sold since her death by one flower shop alone, with a local florist describing the period as “Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day all wrapped into one”.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Natalie Prince, 35, who works at the family-run Darling Buds of Windsor, said the most popular blooms had been royal purple hydrangeas, sunflowers and stocks, thought to be one of the Queen’s favourites.

She said: “I’ve never seen, in 13 years of being a florist, a demand this high.”

Other bouquets featuring prominently outside the castle gates were red roses, which mourners said were to symbolise their love for the late monarch, and various purple flowers, because of the colour’s association with royalty