King Charles III Leads Vigil Of Queen's Children Over Her Coffin

The new monarch and his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward stood watch at Westminster Hall.

King Charles III, accompanied by his three siblings – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – took part in the vigil of the princes this evening at Westminster Hall.

King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall.
King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall.
Yui Mok via PA Wire/PA Images

The 15-minute long ceremony involved Queen Elizabeth II’s four children standing guard around her coffin at Westminster Hall where the queen has been lying in state since Wednesday evening.

King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York (right) and the Earl of Wessex (left) arrive to hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York (right) and the Earl of Wessex (left) arrive to hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
Hannah McKay via PA Wire/PA Images

Notably, all four were in military uniform, including Prince Andrew who reportedly received a special exception to allow him to wear his for the vigil. Earlier in the week, he wore a morning suit while marching behind his mother’s coffin, reflecting the fact that he was stripped of all his military titles and royal patronages back in 2019.

King Charles III holds a vigil along with the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
King Charles III holds a vigil along with the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
Hannah McKay via PA Wire/PA Images

Prince Harry, who will participate in a vigil with the queen’s other grandchildren on Saturday evening, will also appear in military uniform after receiving an exception from Buckingham Palace. He too wore a suit earlier in the week while his brother, Prince William, was in military uniform as they accompanied the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. Prince Harry lost his military titles in 2020 after giving up his senior royal status and moving to California with his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Britain's King Charles III (front R), Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive to mount a vigil around the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Britain's King Charles III (front R), Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive to mount a vigil around the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Queen will remain lying in state until her funeral on Sept. 19, which has been declared a bank holiday. Hundreds of thousands of mourners have been queueing to visit Westminster Hall and see the monarch lying-in-state since Wednesday. The queue itself has spawned rolling coverage and memes, becoming an historic event in its own right.

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