“Well done all of you, seriously 12 hours [is] impressive,” the Prince of Wales, 40, told crowds of well-wishers outside of Westminster Hall in London, on Saturday, September 17, per a livestream via the royal family’s YouTube page. “You’re doing really well. Thank you so much.”
After the queen’s September 8 death at the age of 96, she has been lying in state for four days before her Monday, September 19, funeral. During the lying in state period, crowds of mourners from across the country have the chance to pay their respects to the late monarch. Groups have even waited multiple hours — and overnight — for their turn to enter the historic building.
“I was so lucky I was able to have a few moments in my life to be around Her Majesty,” David Beckham told ITV News while waiting in line on Friday, September 16. “[This is] a sad day but it’s a day to remember the incredible legacy she left. … It’s special to be here to celebrate, and to hear the different stories that people have to say.”
The 47-year-old former soccer star added: “I grew up in a household of royalists and I was brought up that way. I know that [my grandparents] would have wanted to be here, so I’m here on their behalf and on behalf of my family.”
Despite the 12-hour wait, the crowds have kept calm and carried on — patiently waiting until reaching the front of the line.
“Hope your toes and fingers are OK,” William quipped on Saturday before adding, “You’re all making friends for life here. Keep safe [and] warm!”
The king, 73, also joined his eldest son outside Westminster Hall to accept mourners’ condolences over the loss of the long-reigning sovereign. He was seen shaking their hands and telling them “thank you” for the long wait.
The Duke of Cornwall and his father have been among members of the royal family who have met Commonwealth residents across England, Northern Ireland and Wales during the mourning period following Her Majesty’s death.
“Thank you to troops from across the Commonwealth who took time out of preparations for Monday’s funeral to meet us today,” William and his wife, Princess Kate, wrote via Instagram on Friday after visiting military troops at the Army Training Centre Pirbright outside London. “To those we spoke to from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, we really appreciate you being here.”
The Duke of Cambridge, Charles, the 40-year-old Princess of Wales and other members of the royal family will attend the queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Scroll below to see more photos of William and Charles’ surprise Saturday outing: