The Queen’s ‘favourite daughter-in-law’ Sophie Wessex cut a reflective figure as she donned an all-black ensemble to pay tribute to the woman she called ‘mama’.
Prince Edward’s wife, 57, who had an exceptionally close relationship with her mother-in-law opted for traditional mourning dress as she entered Westminster Abbey today.
The mother-of-two, was joined by Meghan Markle, while her husband, 57, joined his brother King Charles III, nephews Princes William and Harry, sister Princess Anne and brother Prince Andrew walking behind the Queen.
Sophie and Edward’s two children Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14 were also in attendance.
The Queen’s youngest two grandchildren have shown a maturity far beyond their years as they joined their older cousins in mourning since the Queen died at Balmoral on September 8, aged 96.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex is seen on The Mall ahead of The State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II
The countess of Wessex arrived for today’s service with Meghan Markle, whose husband Prince Harry travelled with his cousin Peter Phillips
The Countess of Wessex has been a constant presence since the death of the Queen, making a number of appearances to thank well-wishers across the country.
It has been reported that Sophie will also inherit a number of patronages held by Her Majesty. She is also likely to become the Duchess of Edinburgh – a title previously held by the Queen – when her husband inherits his father’s title as Duke of Edinburgh.
It will be seen as a reflection of both the close relationship the two women shared, and of the increasingly senior role she holds within the Royal Family.
Sophie was very close to her mother-in-law and has been noted as the monarch’s ‘favourite’ family member after she married Prince Edward.
The Countess formed a close bond with the royal family after losing her own mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, to stomach cancer in 2005 aged 71, when her daughter Lady Louise Windsor was only two.
King Charles III is seen on The Mall ahead of The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
The King and the royal family march to Westminster Abbey from Westminster Hall
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth
She was also extremely distraught following the death of the Duke Edinburgh, and became the Queen’s ‘rock’ following his funeral.
Speaking in June last year, royal expert Duncan Larcombe told The Sun: ‘Sophie has emerged as the Queen’s unlikely “rock” as the monarch adjusts to life without Prince Philip. Prince Edward’s wife has – according to sources – made it her personal mission to ensure Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.
‘Since the Duke’s death in April, Sophie has driven the 10 miles from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend socially-distanced time with Her Majesty.’
For the days she couldn’t make it to see the Queen in person, the Countess ‘made a point of calling her mother-in-law at least once a day’.
Sophie, who has been described as ‘the royal peacemaker’ shared a car with Meghan, travelling behind members of the royal family walking on foot.
Pallbearers gently carried the late monarch’s oak coffin, carrying her crown, orb and sceptre
Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales, and his children arrive at Westminster Hall. Charlotte was next to her father. George was in the back
The Queen begins her final journey from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey
Her Majesty’s coffin will travelled ceremonial procession along a detailed route through London and then Windsor before she is laid to rest.
King Charles III lead his family members – including Princes William and Harry – walking behind the Queen’s coffin as it was moved Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.
Hundreds of thousands of Brits have queued to see the Queen lying in state this week, as the official period of mourning ends today.
Well-wishers waited for up to thirty hours to pay tribute as people from around the world sent their condolences to the longest running head of state .
Dignitaries from the commonwealth including Australia, New Zealand and Canada will join the Firm in mourning today, as well as monarchs from across Europe and the world.
The Queen’s state funeral today will end with a two-minute national silence in a ‘fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign’ before she is laid to rest beside her late husband.
Police have also been granted a no-fly zone order over London on today, which will follow 10 days of mourning.
As well as thousands of uniformed Metropolitan Police bobbies drafted into action, plain-clothes officers will also mingle among crowds to monitor any threats.
It is expected that other forces will be asked to provide officers under ‘mutual aid’.
The Queen’s Coffin was today carried from Westminster Hall to the State Gun Carriage, and then positioned outside the building’s North Door.
The procession then went from New Palace Yard through Parliament Square, Broad Sanctuary and the Sanctuary before arriving at Westminster Abbey just before 11am.
After the State Funeral Service finishes at around midday, the coffin will be placed on the State Gun Carriage outside the Abbey.
At 12.15pm, the procession will set off for Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner.
The route will go from the Abbey via Broad Sanctuary, Parliament Square (south and east sides), Parliament Street, Whitehall, Horse Guards including Horse Guards Arch, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Queen’s Gardens (south and west sides), Constitution Hill and Apsley Way
At Wellington Arch, the Queen’s coffin will be transferred from the State Gun Carriage to the State Hearse just after 1pm, ahead of the journey to Windsor.
It then will travel from central London to Windsor, on a route that has not been disclosed by the Palace. When the hearse arrives in Windsor, the procession will begin just after 3pm at Shaw Farm Gate on Albert Road.
The state hearse will join the procession, which will have been formed up and in position, at Shaw Farm Gate before travelling to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The procession will follow the route of Albert Road, Long Walk, Cambridge Gate, Cambridge Drive, George IV Gate, Quadrangle (south and west sides), Engine Court, Norman Arch, Chapel Hill, Parade Ground and Horseshoe Cloister Arch.
Just before 4pm, the procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel in Horseshoe Cloister. Here, the bearer party will carry the coffin in procession up the steps into the chapel.
The Queen will be interred during a private burial at King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 7.30pm.