Prince and Princess of Wales share photos from Sandringham walkabout
15th September 2022

‘Thank you to everyone in Sandringham’: Prince and Princess of Wales share poignant photos from their walkabout as they praise well-wishers who turned out to see them

  • Senior royals are visiting mourners up and down the country today as King Charles III rests at Highgrove 
  • Kate told a woman she couldn’t read all the cards ‘or I would cry’ while William said he was ‘overwhelmed’ 
  • In Manchester, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, hugged young boy called Josh who had gathered to meet her
  • Meanwhile, Princess Royal, accompanied by her husband Sir Tim Laurence, visited well-wishers in Glasgow 
  • Click here to view all of today’s Royal updates on MailOnline’s live blog 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

The Prince and Princess of Wales have said ‘thank you to everyone in Sandringham today’ after sharing poignant photos of themselves reading the floral tributes left for the Queen at the Norfolk estate.

William and Kate, both 40, stepped out of a dark Range Rover near to Sandringham’s historic Norwich Gates where they warmly greeted by huge crowds who had waited behind metal barriers to see the couple.

The couple, who stayed for almost an hour, chatting to royal fans young and old, posted two photographs from the walkabout to their Instagram account shortly after their visit, with the simple caption: ‘Thank you to everyone in Sandringham today’.

William and Kate look deep in thought in the images as they read the messages on the sea of floral tributes that have been left behind at the gates to the royal residence. 

The Prince of Wales told a woman at Sandringham today that yesterday’s procession was ‘very difficult’ and ‘brought back a few memories’ of walking behind his mother Diana’s coffin, before – close to tears – saying to her: ‘Don’t cry now, you’ll start me off’. 

William was also heard telling a mourner the Queen was ‘everyone’s grandmother’, and saying Prince George, nine, understood that she had died but Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four, less so. Meanwhile, Kate told a woman she would burst into tears if she read too many sympathy cards.

With King Charles III enjoying a much-deserved rest at his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, the rest of his family took up the mantle – with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, hugging mourners in Manchester and Princess Anne visiting Glasgow. 


William and Kate, both 40, stepped out of a dark Range Rover near to Sandringham’s historic Norwich Gates where they warmly greeted by huge crowds who had waited behind metal barriers to see the couple

The couple, who stayed for almost an hour, chatting to royal fans young and old, posted two photographs from the walkabout to their Instagram account shortly after their visit, with the simple caption: ‘Thank you to everyone in Sandringham today’

The Prince and Princess of Wales inspecting flowers left by well-wishers outside Sandringham in Norfolk this afternoon  

Fran Morgan, 62, chatted to Kate as she and William spoke to the vast crowd that had come to see them at Sandringham, the Queen’s estate in Norfolk. Recalling their conversation, Mrs Morgan said: ‘She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said: ”I can’t read them all or I would cry”.’  

One visitor who missed the entire visit was three-month old Eddie Shakespeare who fell asleep just as the Royal couple arrived. 

His mother Maisie, 27, from Cambridgeshire, said: ‘I was going to wake him up and show him to Kate, but I didn’t have the heart. She thanked me for coming and said that all the sympathy meant a lot to her and William. I’m glad I came, but as for Eddie, I’ll just have to tell him about it when he’s older!’

In Manchester, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, met Josh, a young mourner who was waiting to see her with his mother, Sue. 

Recounting the moment they met, Sue said: ‘She just said ”nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?” Then Josh said ”can I have a hug?”. They hugged, then he asked for a photo. The bouquet is signed from Josh but it’s got my name on it as well.’

Asked what the moment felt like, Josh – who is non-verbal – replied: ‘Happy.’ 

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, the Princess Royal chatted to crowds outside Glasgow City Chambers. Handed a bouquet by a young girl, she said: ‘They’re not for me are they?’ to which the girl replied, ‘They’re for you’. Anne, clearly touched, took the flowers and thanked her. 

Kate chats to a member of the crowd who had gathered to meet her and Prince William outside Sandringham in Norfolk 

A small baby looks on with a look of concern as the Princess of Wales chats with people in the crowd at Sandringham 

Kate points to something in the distance – as a young girl copies her – during her walkabout in Norfolk this afternoon 

Prince William smiles as he speaks to a mother and her infant son who have come to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

Prince William gestures as he speaks to a young woman, clutching a baby, as the crowds assemble at Sandringham

Royal fans scrambled to take photographs and record the historic moment as the new Princess of Wales greeted members of the public outside Sandringham Estate today

Prince William warmly greets members of the public who had patiently waited to catch a glimpse of the new Prince and Princess of Wales

Prince William provided a memory these youngsters will treasure for life as he graciously pauses to speak with schoolchildren who had waited to meet the royals at the gates of Sandringham House today

The Prince and Princess of Wales point at the floral tributes left at the foot of Norwich Gates by mourners

Today, Prince William told a woman at Sandringham today that yesterday’s procession had been ‘very difficult’ and had reminded him of walking behind his mother Diana’s coffin, as he said to her: ‘Don’t cry now, you’ll start me off’

1997 — Prince Philip, William, Earl Spencer, Harry and Charles during Princess Diana’s funeral procession in September 1997

There were lots of young children in the crowd at Sandringham, with Kate taking special care to chat to them 

The ever-elegant Princess of Wales points off into the distance, alongside a young girl, as she met with members of the public who waited outside the royal residence of Sandringham today

The Prince and Princess of Wales, clad in black as is tradition during the period of royal mourning, look on at the sea of flowers

The royal couple paused for several minutes to take stock of the staggering amount of flowers, cards, gifts and tributes left to the late Queen Elizabeth II after her passing

The Princess of Wales cuts a sombre figure as she closely inspects the sea of flowers left by mourners

Kate charmed those members of the public waiting in the crowd at Sandringham House

Kate laughs with people who had gathered to meet her and William in Norfolk as the royals travelled across the country to meet well-wishers 

A group of schoolchildren from Howard Junior School, Norfolk excitedly waved flags bearing the Union Jack as they greeted Prince William outside Sandringham today

Kate shakes the hand of a starstruck young pupil from Howard Junior School in King’s Lynn

An elderly woman can’t quite believe her luck as she bears a huge grin after meeting the Prince and Princess of Wales today

And it’s a moment these royal fans won’t ever forget as Prince William gently greets this young mother’s baby boy

The pair cut grief-stricken expressions as they paused to reflect on the legacy of the late Queen Elizabeth II after viewing flowers and tributes at Sandringham today

Kate chatting to mourners while carrying several bouquets of flowers. Hundreds have piled up at the estate in recent days 

The Princess of Wales, carrying a bouquet, guides a young girl over to where she can leave a stuffed corgi toy 

Kate clutches onto flowers as she and a royal fan share a smile together as she joined her husband to greet members of the public at Sandringham House today

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales, view floral tributes placed outside the Sandringham Estate following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Today, the Princess of Wales told a well-wisher she would burst into tears if she read too many sympathy cards

The Prince of Wales told a woman at Sandringham today that yesterday’s procession was ‘very difficult’ and had reminded him of walking behind his mother Diana’s coffin

The Prince and Princess of Wales delighted those in attendance at Sandringham House as they looked over the assembled tributes and shared their memories of the late Queen Elizabeth II

Royal fans of all ages were treated to an appearance by the Prince and Princess of Wales at Sandringham House

Kate greets an excited royal superfan who had come to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales with her family today

Kate and William warmly grabbed outstretched hands, accepted bouquets of flowers and spoke with those who had patiently waited hours to meet them 

Prince William gently touches Kate’s back as they inspect the sea of flowers left in memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince William cuts a forlorn figure as he looks over the swathes of bouquets left at the gates of Sandringham House

In Manchester, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex , met Josh, a young mourner who had gathered in Manchester with his mother, Sue

Recounting the moment they met, Sue said: ‘She just said ”nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?” Then Josh said ”can I have a hug?”. They hugged, then he asked for a photo’ 

Fran Morgan, 62, (right, with her mother, Mary, left) spoke to Kate as she and William inspected the sea of flowers outside Sandringham. Recalling their conversation, Mrs Morgan said: ‘She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said ”I can’t read them all or I would cry”’

One visitor who missed the entire visit was three-month old Eddie Shakespeare who fell asleep just as the Royal couple arrived

The Prince and Princess of Wales chatted to the huge crowds who had gathered outside Sandringham House in Norfolk

Kate leans in while chatting to a member of the public who had gathered outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk today 

A woman wipes away tears at William speaks to well-wishers outside Sandringham 

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive to view floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House

The royal couple spent a few minutes inspecting the vast piles of flowers that had been left outside the royal residence 

Thousand of flowers, toys and cards have been left outside Sandringham House in recent days 

Kate reaches out to take another bouquet of flowers to leave by the gates of Sandringham 

. The couple walked slowly along metal barriers as they received bouquets from the public and chatted to well-wishers

Kate gave the update on George, Charlotte and Louis as she greeted wellwishers at the estate in Norfolk, near to the couple’s country retreat, Anmer Hall

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

News of the visit was reported on Thursday and a large crowd gathered behind metal barriers. Norfolk Police advised that an ‘increasing number’ of people were expected and that officers were managing a one-way system around the estate

Kate chats to members of the public as she receives several bouquets 

 Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

Kate and William inspect floral tributes at Sandringham today 

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

Thousands of flowers have been left at Sandringham in recent days 

The Countess of Wessex shakes hands with mourners in Manchester today 

Crowds in the city gave Edward and Sophie a warm welcome today as they also viewed floral tributes in St Ann’s Square and a book of condolence at the Central Library

The Countess of Wessex hugs a woman in the crowd during her walkabout in Manchester today 

The Princess Royal greets members of the public during a visit to Glasgow City Chambers

Princess Anne received dozens of bouquets of flowers from well-wishers 

The new Princess of Wales, 40, spoke to one wellwisher today about how her children have been coping since the loss of their grandmother last week at Balmoral.

Queen’s funeral ‘to be a fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign’  

The Queen’s state funeral will “unite people across the globe and resonate with people of all faiths” and pay a “fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign”, the man in charge of the historic occasion has said.

The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, described the task as “both humbling and daunting. An honour and a great responsibility”.

Two thousand people including world leaders and foreign royals will gather inside Westminster Abbey in London on Monday for the final farewell to the nation’s longest reigning monarch.

Some 800 people, including members of the Queen’s Household and Windsor estate staff, will attend the committal service afterwards at 4pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Further details of the ceremony and the next five days were released by Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will be interred with the Duke of Edinburgh in King George VI’s Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in a private service at 7.30pm on Monday.

But the burial service conducted by the Dean of Windsor and attended by the King and royals will remain entirely private, as a “deeply personal family occasion”.

The King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will mount a 15-minute vigil around the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state at 7.30pm on Friday.

After the funeral, the King and members of the royal family will walk behind the Queen’s coffin to Wellington Arch when it leaves Westminster Abbey, before it is driven to Windsor on the state hearse.

The earl said: “The events of recent days are a reminder of the strength of our Constitution, a system of government, which in so many ways is the envy of the world.’

Speaking to BBC’s Jo Black today, the unnamed wellwisher, who was amongst the crowd standing outside the estate today, said: ‘My daughter asked her how the children were doing, and Kate thanked her and said yes, they were doing well and they were being looked after at school, so that was a nice exchange.’

It has been a busy period for the royal mother-of-three, who only recently moved her family to a new home in Windsor and took her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, to their first day at school last week.

Yesterday, she supported her husband and other senior royals as they paid tribute to the Queen at the funeral procession through central London.

The Prince and Princess of Wales today spoke to several of the 1,000 or so people who gathered to greet them outside the Queen’s Norfolk estate, with William telling one member of the crowd he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the outpouring of support. 

Mourners have been paying their respects outside the estate’s ornate Norwich Gates around the clock since the Queen’s death last Thursday, and have left thousands of bouquets, cards and gifts. 

The Victorian mansion is close to the Prince and Princess’s country retreat at Anmer Hall.

Also among the 20-deep crowd at Sandringham was retired shop owner Jeffery Malzer, 67, and his wife Ruth, 63, who had travelled 4,000 miles from Milwaukee. 

‘My grandfather served here in the USAF in the war and when we heard of the Queen’s death we knew we had to come,’ he told MailOnline. 

‘People in the States love the Queen and it means a lot to us to be here. At least now I’ll be able to say I’ve seen the next King of England.’  

There was a brief moment of drama as the Royals worked their way along the line of people when an elderly woman collapsed in the crowd behind.

Paramaedics and police vehicles had to gently push their way through the throng to track her, but she appeared to recover after treatment.

To a final round of applause the couple left shortly after 1.15pm. 

It comes as thousands of people continue to queue in line to pay their respects to the Queen in Westminster Hall, a sight the Archbishop of Canterbury described as ‘one of the most moving parts of the week’.

Justin Welby shook hands and posed for selfies with dozens of people who were waiting to view the Queen lying in state, and performed a blessing on a 10-year-old girl.

Among those to view the Queen’s coffin were Theresa May and Tanni-Grey Thompson. 

By 10am today, the queue leading up to Westminster Hall was around three miles long and stretched past London Bridge to HMS Belfast.

Before greeting those in line at The Victoria Tower Gardens in central London, the Archbishop said he was not at all surprised by the turnout and remembered the Queen as someone whose ‘wisdom was remarkable’.

He said: ‘She was someone you could trust totally, completely and absolutely, whose wisdom was remarkable, whose experience – I was the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury who she would have known – who really understood things and who prayed.’

Mr Welby also told reporters that seeing thousands of people flood to pay their respects had been ‘one of the most moving parts of this week’.

‘In one sense, the people here stand for all those in the country who would like to be here and can’t be,’ he said. ‘I think it shows a sense of deep affection for the stability that the Queen represented and gave us.’

Mr Welby added that he was ‘not in the least’ worried about a period of change under a new monarch and a new Prime Minister. ‘I’m very, very relaxed about that,’ he said. ‘His Majesty the King is deeply committed to sticking with the constitution, and it’s very clear that the shift happened seamlessly.

‘The strength of the way this country works is seen by the fact we lost both the prime minister and the monarch in a week and government just goes on.’

The Archbishop spoke to police officers and stewards who were manning the queue and paused to perform a blessing on 10-year-old Eva Garcia, who was in line with her father. 

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

Mourners have been arriving at the site, close to the Prince and Princess’s country retreat at Anmer Hall, around the clock since Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s death last Thursday 


William and Kate chatting with members of the public outside Sandringham today 

Kate says hello to a baby – who looks slightly worried 

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

William, Prince of Wales, holds a floral tribute as he meets people gathered outside Sandringham Estate

Prince William waves to well-wishers at Sandringham today 

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see William and Kate look at the sea of flowers left for the late monarch by the Norwich Gates

Kate shakes hands with a mourner at Sandringham today, where thousands of people turned out to meet them 


The Prince and Princess of Wales inspecting flowers at Sandringham today after thousands were left behind by well-wishers 

Princess Anne speaks with members of the public outside City Chambers in Glasgow this morning

 Today in Glasgow, Princess Anne met representatives of organisations of which the Queen was a patron 

Prince Edward speaks to huge crowds of well-wishers as he and the Countess of Wessex make a visit to Manchester 

Eva, whose family are Anglican and moved to London from the US two weeks ago, told PA the moment was ‘very special’ to her.

Her father, Juan Garcia, 41, added: ‘Eva is our oldest and it was really amazing.

‘To have a leader of the church pray for your child in that way, I was very emotional.’

Retired nurse Alex Swinburne, 58, said she had been queuing since 4.20am and meeting the Archbishop had been a ‘spiritual moment’.

‘It was very special,’ she said.

‘The Queen represented the church, so I think it’s very important that they’re being represented here.

‘It felt like a spiritual moment before you go in at this stage, when we’ve all been queueing for so long.’

Christina Watson, 67, who used a walking stick and travelled from Sunderland to pay her respects to the Queen, said meeting the Archbishop was something she would remember for the rest of her life.

This morning, more than 1.3 million people logged on to watch the queue-tracker for the line.

The largely black-clad crowd were solemn and pensive as they flowed into the ancient hall where chandeliers and spotlights illuminated the scene beneath the medieval timber roof.

As hundreds of ordinary people of all ages filed past the coffin of the long-reigning monarch, many wiped their eyes with tissues.

Some bowed, some curtsied and some simply took a moment to look at the extraordinary scene. 

Edward and Sophie travelled to Manchester a day after they paid their respects with the rest of the royal family at Westminster Hall, where the Queen is lying in state

 The royal couple did a walkabout in St Ann’s Square which, in May 2017, was filled with bouquets of flowers and heartfelt messages and tributes in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people were killed

Sophie receives sunflowers from a crowd member standing behind a metal barrier draped in a Union flag 

The earl and countess were invited by the Dean of Manchester, the Very Rev Rogers Govender, and the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, to each light a candle

Members of the public have flocked to Manchester Cathedral since the monarch’s death to sign a book of condolence and light a candle

They were also shown photographs of the Queen’s last visit to the cathedral, to mark the 600th anniversary celebration of the collegiate church in July 2021

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward light a candle today in Manchester Cathedral 


Members of the public have flocked to the cathedral since the monarch’s death to sign a book of condolence and light a candle

Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex shake hands with clerics at Manchester Cathedral 

Former prime minister Theresa May and her husband Philip were among those paying their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall.

Yvonne Joseph, 57, and Curlette Edwards, 61, from London joined well-wishers at 8am on Thursday morning. 

‘It didn’t take that long, about 45 minutes to an hour,’ they said. ‘We went through the accessibility queue, it’s for people with disabilities that are seen and unseen. It was a totally separate queue. Everything ran in order. 

‘When we arrived we were fortunate to see the Changing of the Guard so we have an extra moment to pay our respects to the Queen.

‘We wanted to come and pay our respects because it’s just a historic moment, the Queen is like a mother and a grandmother to all of us.’

Neil Miller, 58, from Buckinghamshire, said that he wanted to pay his respects, as he has ‘watched the Queen’s speech ever year of my life at 3pm on Christmas Day’. 

‘She has done a great job for the country, and I wanted to come and pay my respects and say thank you,’ he said. ‘At 6.55am this morning, I joined the back of the queue and it’s been fine. Lots of banter and talk. I was told 10 hours I would be in the queue.’ 

Esbil Wong, 70, is from South Africa and was visiting her son in the UK when she heard news of the Queen’s death. 

She said she came to pay her respects because ‘I have been following her all my life.’ 

She said: ‘We are really honoured, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to be part of history. I love her.’  

Crowds in the city gave Edward and Sophie a warm welcome today as they also viewed floral tributes in St Ann’s Square and a book of condolence at the Central Library

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, with her husband, Prince Edward, leave Manchester Cathedral this afternoon 

The couple were warmly received during the visit, which is one of a series of trips senior royals made across the country today 

Edward and Sophie spoke to onlookers at each of the three stops on their visit. A crowd outside the cathedral clapped and cheered as the royal couple left the city

Floral tributes and messages of condolence have been left in the square again in large numbers in memory of the Queen

William gestures as a woman holding a baby watches on at Sandringham today 

There were plenty of young children in the crowd, which William and Kate took special care to say hello to 

William holds a bouquet of flowers as he speaks to a woman outside Sandringham in Norfolk this afternoon 

The Prince of Wales looked relaxed as he waved to crowds outside the Queen’s estate in Norfolk 

William laughs as he chats to well-wishers who had gathered to meet him at Sandringham 

-Ms Wong said she joined the queue at around 7am and had been queuing for about three hours so far. 

Rosalind Devlin, 59, a Navy wren, said: ‘It was one of the greatest moments of my life, we’re all ex-forces so to be able to pay our last respects to the Queen was a privilege.

‘It was exhausting but ultimately very rewarding. It was well worth waiting eight hours for.’

Yesterday the first people in the queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state ate pizza brought by the Archbishop of York after camping overnight and waiting hours to be granted access to Westminster Hall, where the fallen monarch will remain until 6.30am on Monday.

Their wait totalled 50 hours, after some arrived as early as Monday in order to maintain a place in the queue. They were chatting to their neighbours, making friends, sharing squashed egg sandwiches and cups of tepid tea. 

The coffin continues to be guarded at all hours by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

Metropolitan Police officers, volunteers and stewards are managing the queue while toilets and water fountains are provided at various points along the route.

People waiting in line are also being given a coloured and numbered wristband to manage the queue. One mourner, Alan Davies, has been handing out biscuits to others queuing around him.

He said: ‘I got here around four and made sure to bring some supplies, I knew some people had been waiting far longer than I have, but it is moving fairly quickly. It’s the best example of how much the Queen meant to us all, queuing in the British weather, rain or sun, for days. Just to say one final goodbye.’ 

The queue could reach ten miles by Saturday night, with officials planning to implement three miles of airport-style zigzag lines in parks at the beginning and end of the seven-mile planned route.

The Queen: All you need to know following her passing and a look back at her 70-year reign

  • What happens on day of the Queen’s funeral?
  • Who will be at the Queen’s funeral? From Joe Biden and Jacinda Ardern to European royalty and Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting
  • Who becomes the Prince of Wales when Charles becomes King?
  • How Princess ‘Lilibet’ became the UK’s longest-serving monarch
  • What was the Queen really like? 
  • How the Queen’s family came to celebrate her Majesty’s historic reign during the Platinum Jubilee 
  • Trains to London for the Queen’s funeral: Which rail services are running? 
  • PICTURES: Queen’s iconic fashion sense over the last eight decades
  • PICTURES: The Queen’s personal jewellery collection – including her engagement ring from Prince Philip

 

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