Prince and Princess of Wales thank volunteers in Windsor for help at Queen’s funeral

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Windsor’s Guildhall on Thursday, where they took the opportunity to thank volunteers and staff who have helped support the crowds on Monday during the Queen’s funeral.

It was their first joint public appearance since Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral. Thousands had lined the Long Walk in hopes of getting a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin before her internment in St George’s Chapel.

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During the visit, the couple also spoke of how the family are dealing with the loss of the late Queen.

On the day of the Queen’s passing, William revealed there had been five rainbows, as  he smiled at Catherine and said ‘Her Majesty was looking down on us’. William added: ‘You hardly ever see rainbows up there’.

The Prince also spoke about his family’s own recent conversations about the late Queen. ‘We were saying the other day, the Queen said she had never been rained on at the Cenotaph in 70 years [for Remembrance Sunday],’ he said. He jokingly added ‘so we will see what happens this year.’

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The Prince and Princess, who have recently moved to Windsor with their children starting a new school, spoke about how impressed they were at the funeral preparations whilst on the school run.

Catherine said: ‘When we’ve been doing the school run, we’ve been able to see the preparations going up. We’ve seen it growing.

‘It must have been quite a mission. Having gone backwards and forwards last week, we could see it slowly growing. It seemed so well organised’.

She added that her three children had been particularly ‘beady-eyed’, asking why there were drones flying nearby – for security.

Talking about the funeral, Catherine called the imagery of the procession and ceremonies ‘extraordinary’ and how ‘different generations from all walks of life’ came out to remember the late Queen. ‘It was amazing how everyone seemed to want to come. Reading some of the messages, the Queen had a personal relationship with every one of these people. The messages that were left show the Queen had a special meaning to everybody,’ The Princess of Wales commented.

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As advocates for tackling mental health, the couple inquired how they are managed with ‘such long hours’. Catherine asked: ‘How are you emotionally? It must have been physically tiring, but also emotionally’.

William said: ‘You’ve all been brilliant. It was very slick. The public don’t see all this hard work but we really appreciate all the hours you’ve put in’.

He added the activities were ‘seamless’.

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Prince William and Kate, The Prince and Princess of Wales, at Windsor Guildhall, where they met staff and volunteers involved in organising the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II

‘It couldn’t have gone the way it did without your help. We really appreciate all the hard work and long hours, so thank you. It made us feel like people care. We were sharing it with everyone else, which made it less hard.  It’s been a busy week for everyone. It showed how hard people behind the scenes have been working.’

The Princess added: ‘You can be so proud of it. It was extraordinary from the family’s perspective, but also for the public. All these different things like car parking and logistics. We couldn’t believe how far people had come.’

William and Catherine were shown a photograph of Paddington Bear, made entirely from flowers. Speaking about the number of real marmalade sandwiches that had been left, the Princess joked: ‘The squirrels probably enjoyed it too.’

Prince William added how there has now become a ‘competition’ between the Corgis and Paddington, as to which is more associated with the Queen, after the sketch during the Platinum Jubilee.

Thank you to all those who have worked so tirelessly to ensure that everyone visiting Windsor over the past two weeks has had a safe & positive experience.

It was a pleasure to meet just a small number of staff & volunteers today. We are hugely grateful for all of your efforts.

— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) September 22, 2022

An estimated 110,000 people visited Windsor on the day of the Queen’s funeral, with around 100,000 bunches of flowers left in her memory.

Whilst the Royal Family are in private mourning, Buckingham Palace have stated a small number of engagements will be carried out to thank those involved in the Queen’s Funeral and associated events, and to recognise the service to The King and country of those on deployment overseas.

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