Britain’s King Charles greets people lining up to pay their respects to British Queen Elizabeth after her death, in London, Britain on September 17, 2022. REUTERS / Phil Noble (Photo: Phil Noble via Reuters)
King Charles III and William, Prince of Wales, paid a surprise visit to greet the mourners who queued to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in the state at Westminster Hall.
Prince William shook hands and greeted the people who lined up at night to pay their respects to his grandmother. He said to the mourners: “Thank you means a lot.”
King Charles III also shook hands with people, thanking them for waiting more than 20 hours to see his mother lying in the state. In one video, his personal guard can be heard telling people to put their phones away and “enjoy the moment”.
The queue to see Queen Elizabeth’s coffin has become an event in its own right, as it stretches for miles through central London, with people traveling to the city to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall.
William of Great Britain, Prince of Wales, greets people lining up to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain after her death, in London, Great Britain, on September 17, 2022. REUTERS / Phil Noble (Photo: Phil Noble via Reuters )
On Friday, the queue had to close for a while to new entrants as it went through 5 miles and hours of waiting between 22 and 24 hours. But not before David Beckham also surprised the mourners and queued with them for hours for a chance to pay their respects to the queen.
The Queen’s coffin will remain in Westminster Hall for public viewing until Monday morning, September 19, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral.
Tonight, Princes William and Harry will organize a vigil around their grandmother’s coffin along with her other grandchildren. The king and his brothers did so last night, in a ceremony called the princes’ vigil, even though it specifically included Princess Anne.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.