Prince of Wales says the Queen will be ‘looking down’ on her funeral service

The Prince and Princess of Wales at the Army Training Centre Pirbright (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
The Prince and Princess of Wales at the Army Training Centre Pirbright (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

The Prince of Wales has said the Queen will be “looking down” on her funeral service.

William and his wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, visited Army Training Centre Pirbright in Surrey on Friday afternoon where they spoke with Commonwealth troops participating in the procession on Monday.

Speaking to military personnel from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, who have been rehearsing this week, the pair also told of how “strange” it has been going from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to her funeral in a matter of months.

William, talking with troops from Australia, was heard saying the difference between the celebrations in June and the funeral preparations shows “the highs and lows of it all”.

Meanwhile, Kate, who was speaking with Canadian military personnel, said: “Going from that (the Jubilee) to this in a few months is very strange.”

She was also heard discussing “lack of sleep” with the troops.

William was heard speaking with troops from the New Zealand Defence Force about how the Queen would be keeping an eye on Monday’s proceedings.

Greg Gifford, 31, told the PA News agency: “One of the key things I took away from what he said was how the Queen will definitely be looking down on the whole funeral service.

“He said she would be interested in the detail of the soldiers, how the drill is carried out, it’s precision, our dress, things like that.”

The couple also watched a traditional haka performed by 25 troops from the New Zealand Defence Force.

There were 64 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and 28 members of the Australian Defence Force at the centre.

The troops are in the UK because they are involved in the procession during Monday’s service, alongside British soldiers.

They are being accommodated at Pirbright until the funeral and are rehearsing their roles in the ceremony, with practice marches occurring across the site.

Corporal Kyle Kajari, of the Canadian Ceremonial Contingent, took part in the recent Jubilee and spoke with William about the Queen.

He said: “This week we’ve been practicing parades, drills, all that jazz to make sure we are ready for the funeral this Monday.

“I feel very honoured and very privileged to represent my unit in the procession.”

Cpl Kajari went on: “(William) was asking how we felt about Monday coming up, my response to him was ‘sorry for your loss’.

“He talked about how he’s mourned and how many people feel like they’ve lost a grandmother and how important she was to the country and the Commonwealth.”