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UK: Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren hold vigil

September 18, 2022

Queen Elizabeth's eight grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry, stood by her coffin as members of the public filed by to pay respects. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has arrived to the UK.

Late Queen Elizabeth II's grandchildren around her coffin; they have their heads lowered in mourning
The late queen's grandchildren held a solemn vigil by her coffinImage: Aaron Chown/REUTERS

Mourning Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II's eight grandchildren held a vigil around her coffin on Saturday, two days before the late monarch's funeral.

US President Joe Biden also arrived in the United Kingdom on Saturday ahead of the memorial event and is expected to pay tribute at her coffin on Sunday.

Members of the public queued for up to 25 hours to pay their last respects in London's Westminster Hall.

Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren, aged from 44 to 14, stood by the coffin.  This include King Charles' two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Prince Harry stood guard at the vigil wearing the uniform of the Blues and Royals cavalry regiment. The prince served in the British army in Afghanistan. Harry was stripped of his higher-ranking honorary military titles when he stepped down as a working member of the Royal Family.

The vigil came hours after King Charles and Prince William thanked those who had queued overnight.

"It means an awful lot that you're here," William tweeted.

Mourning Queen Elizabeth II

Camilla hails queen as 'solitary woman' in male-dominated world

Queen Consort Camilla hailed Queen Elizabeth II as a "solitary woman" that "carved her own role."

"She's been part of our lives forever. I'm 75 now and I can't remember anyone except The Queen being there," Camilla said.

"It must have been so difficult for her being a solitary woman," she said.

"There weren't women prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one so I think she carved her own role."

Camilla said that she will always remember the late queen's smile. "That smile is unforgettable," she said.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince no longer expected to attend funeral

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is not now expected to attend the Queen's funeral, according to a British foreign office source and reported on by Reuters.

Saudi Arabia would instead be represented by Prince Turki bin Mohammed al Saud, the source said. The switch was at the behest of Saudi Arabia, the source added.

Saudi representation at the funeral has been closely monitored given the West's stance over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic. US intelligence says the killing was approved by the crown prince, something Saudi Arabia denies.

jsi, sdi/wd (AP, Reuters)