Prince George, 9, had a sweet exchange with Prince Edward‘s wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, when she put her arm around the boy at Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral on Monday, September 19.
The royal family members shared a moment shortly after the late monarch’s memorial service came to an end. George joined his parents, Prince William and Princess Kate, at Westminster Abbey to pay his respects to his great-grandmother.
The couple’s eldest child also participated in the procession alongside his sister, Princess Charlotte, 7. William, 40, and Kate’s youngest son, Prince Louis, 4, was not in attendance at the funeral.
Following the service, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, 40, made their way to Windsor Castle where Elizabeth will be buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip. Sophie, 52, for her part, traveled to the location alongside Prince Harry‘s wife, Meghan Markle, as their respective husbands marched with the sovereign’s coffin to Wellington Arch.
Her Majesty passed away “peacefully” at her estate in Scotland on September 8, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. She was 96. Hours earlier, the palace confirmed that Elizabeth’s doctors placed her “under medical supervision” in her residence at Balmoral Castle.
At the time, William addressed his grandmother’s passing with a special message. “On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” he shared via Instagram on September 10. “So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign.”
He continued: “I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.”
The Duke of Cambridge recalled the “memories” that his children will continue to have of Elizabeth. “She was by my side at my happiest moments and she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” the statement added, noting that Kate had Elizabeth’s “guidance and support” over the years. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
Ahead of the funeral, Kate offered a glimpse at how her kids were handling the tragic loss. Governor-General David Hurley of Australia recalled a conversation he shared with the Duchess of Cambridge at King Charles III‘s reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday, September 18.
“The younger one is now asking questions like, ‘Do you think we can still play these games when we go to Balmoral,’ and things like that, because she’s not going to be there,” Hurley told reporters about his exchange. “The older one is sort of now realizing how important his great-grandmother was and what is going on.”
Kate previously opened up about her youngest child’s reaction to Elizabeth’s passing. “[Louis said,] ‘At least Grannie is with Great-Grandpa now,’” she told well-wishers on September 10, referring to the queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at age 99.
After Philip’s death, a source discussed how the royal family was supporting Elizabeth. “The Cambridges are spending Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham! It’s going to be a big family affair,” an insider revealed to Us Weekly in December 2021. “George, Charlotte and Louis are absolutely delighted to be seeing their great-grandmother in person again.”