Royals united in grief as plans for Queen’s funeral announced

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Royal Family were united in grief on Saturday as they came together to honour the Queen.

Speaking as he was proclaimed King Charles III, the new monarch paid tribute to his late mother on Saturday for her service throughout her 70-year reign.

Speaking from St James’s Palace in front of the Accession Council, the first since 1952, the King said his mother’s reign “was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion.”

He then added: “I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me.

“In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional Government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world."

Following Charles’ proclamation, Buckingham Palace revealed the Queen’s funeral will be set on September 19, at 11am.

Before that, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Edinburgh and then to Westminster Abbey where it will lie in rest for four days.

Later in the day, Prince William, who is now the Prince of Wales, also paid tribute to his grandmother.

In his statement, William said: “On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth was absolute.”

He then added: “So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign.

“I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.”

In a sign of unity for the family, William, and Kate, Princess of Wales were joined by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside Windsor Castle as they inspected the undreds of bouquets of flowers, laid out in neat rows, which lined the wrought iron railings flanking Cambridge Gate.

One note beside a bouquet said: “you were a fantastic role model to my two girls and we will miss you but we will always talk about you often.”

Another said: “you are the reason my life is as good as it is. I never saw you but will miss you so much, like everyone else.”

Thousands of well-wishers lined the Long Walk outside.

Banita Ranow, 28, who was among the crowd, said she heard Kate tell children next to her about what her youngest son Louis had said about the Queen’s death.

She said Kate told the children: “Louis said at least Grannie is with great grandpa now.”

Ms Ranow said Kate was “welling up” as she spoke to the children.

The well-wisher from west London also spoke of her surprise at seeing the two brothers and their wives together, adding: “It was really nice.”

Other senior members of the Royal Family were left visibly emotional as they witnessed the incredible tributes laid out at the gates of the Balmoral Estate.

Such were the tributes for Her late Majesty, that Zara Tindall and Princess Eugenie were seen fighting back the tears as they looked on.