As Prince William and Princess Kate continue to mourn the late Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her state funeral, the couple emotionally made a public appearance at Sandringham Estate.
The Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales, both 40, traveled to Sandringham, England, on Thursday, September 15, where they saw an arrangement of floral tributes that had been left for the queen. The twosome were photographed on the grounds of the queen’s former residence as they viewed the myriad of bouquets that had been laid in Her Majesty’s honor.
William and Kate’s outing came one day after they joined the late queen’s children and other grandchildren at Westminster Hall. William, for his part, marched side-by-side with Prince Harry from the queen’s former Buckingham Palace residence to the chapel on Wednesday, September 14. The estranged brothers were joined by father King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Peter Phillips as they followed behind Elizabeth’s casket.
Once the group arrived at Westminster Hall, they were joined by Kate, Queen Consort Camilla, Meghan Markle and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, for a 20-minute service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Kate — who shares sons Prince George, 9, and Prince Louis, 4, and daughter Princess Charlotte, 7, with William — even paid tribute to the queen on Wednesday with her sartorial choices, opting to pin the late monarch’s pearl-leaf brooch to the lapel of her black dress.
The long-reigning sovereign — who served 70 years on the British throne — died on September 8 at her Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96.
“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” William wrote in a statement at the time. “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. … She was by my side at my happiest moments and she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
In the days following the queen’s death, her eldest son, Charles, ascended the throne as the new monarch, where he bestowed his former title of Prince of Wales onto William. (The king, 73, also passed down his Duke of Cornwall title to his eldest son, whom he shared with late ex-wife Princess Diana.)
William and Kate’s Thursday outing at Sandringham marked their first solo public appearance since receiving their new titles.
“It has a huge emotional weight,” royal expert Gareth Russell exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month of the pair’s new monikers. “Princess Diana had such a great impact across the world with both her charisma and her fame and also her humanitarian and charitable activities. But the title [of Princess of Wales], you know, was used by many people before Diana, and … it is now being used afterward.”
The historian added: “I think it is quite moving for a lot of people that the last person to hold [the Princess of Wales title] was William’s mother and now it’s his wife. I think it puts a good kind of pressure [on the Cambridges] because it brings a lot of the … emotional collateral charisma that Princess Diana had … and invests that title with a certain emotional appeal to people.”
Scroll below to see more photos of William and Kate’s solo outing: