Sophie hugs well-wishers and William and Kate greet crowds as mourning Royals meet public around UK

·2-min read

The Royal Family travelled across the UK on Thursday to greet well-wishers as the nation continues to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, 57, headed to Manchester to view floral tributes in St Ann’s Square.

Sophie was photographed embracing a member of the crowd who lined the streets.

 (PA)
(PA)

A lucky recipient of a hug, called Josh, was wearing a Union Jack cap and was clutching a teddy bear dressed as a Palace Guard.

His mother Sue told MailOnline: “She just said ‘’nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?’’ Then Josh said ‘’can I have a hug?’’. They hugged, then he asked for a photo. “

The compassionate Countess was also seen with her arms around an older lader (FARRELL / BACKGRID)
The compassionate Countess was also seen with her arms around an older lader (FARRELL / BACKGRID)

The Countess of Wessex was also seen with her arms around an elderly woman who seemed overcome with emotion following the Queen’s death aged 96 on September 8.

While in the city the Royal couple also viewed the book of condolence at Manchester’s Central Library and lit a candle in memory of the Queen at the cathedral.

Prince Edward views floral tributes in St Ann’s Square (PA)
Prince Edward views floral tributes in St Ann’s Square (PA)

Further south, the Prince and Princess of Wales, both 40, took in the sea of flowers left outside the gates of Sandringham House.

Thousands of people turned out to see William and Kate visit the Norfolk estate and to pay their respects.

The Prince and Princess of Wales took in the sea of flowers in Norfolk (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales took in the sea of flowers in Norfolk (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The couple walked slowly along metal barriers as they received bouquets from the public and chatted to well-wishers.

Fran Morgan, 62, spoke to Kate as she and William inspected the sea of flowers outside Sandringham. Recalling their conversation, Mrs Morgan told MailOnline: ‘She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said ‘’I can’t read them all or I would cry’’.’

Recalling their conversation, Mrs Morgan said: ‘She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said ‘’I can’t read them all or I would cry’’.’

 (AP)
(AP)

William was also heard telling a mourner he was “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support.

Norfolk Police advised that an “increasing number” of people were expected and that officers were managing a one-way system around the estate.

Princess Anne returned to Scotland where she greeted mourners who were grieving her mother.

Earlier this week The Princess Royal, who travelled with the Queen’s coffin back to London on Tuesday, released an emotional statement telling how she was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life’.

She said the love and respect shown to the Queen on her journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh and onto London had been ‘both humbling and uplifting’.