King Charles to lead siblings in vigil over Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall

Poignant ceremony on Friday will come amid busy time for new king with meetings with heads of state and military chiefs

Among the most poignant of ceremonies before the Queen’s state funeral will be the vigil of princes on Friday evening, when the King and his siblings will stand watch over her coffin during her official lying in state.

The King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will mount guard at the four corners of the catafalque in Westminster Hall for the 15-minute vigil. All will be in military uniform, including Prince Andrew, who as a non-working royal has been granted dispensation to wear uniform for this most personal of gestures.

The King is “focused on leading the family, the nation, the realms and the Commonwealth in mourning for Queen Elizabeth II”, his spokesperson said.

Charles is due to host his first large state event at Buckingham Palace in the form of an official reception for heads of state, foreign royals and overseas official visitors before the state funeral.

It follows a busy few days of engagements, when he travelled to Edinburgh and Belfast.

He is scheduled to meet the military chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, and to attend a lunch for governors general with the Queen Consort, and will then meet realm prime ministers at Buckingham Palace.

On Friday, Charles, who was the longest-serving Prince of Wales in UK history, will return to Wales as King, when he and the Queen Consort travel to Cardiff and receive a message of condolence from the Welsh Senedd.

He will hold a private audience with the Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, at Cardiff Castle before attending a reception in the banqueting hall hosted by the Welsh government.

His arrival by helicopter in Wales will be marked with a 21-gun salute. King Charles and Camilla will also travel to Llandaff Cathedral for a service of prayer and reflection.

On his return to Buckingham Palace, Charles will host faith leaders in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace before travelling to Westminster Hall to mount the vigil with his siblings.

He was spending Thursday at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, where he was said to be undertaking state business, receiving his red boxes, and receiving calls from governors general and heads of state.


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Edinburgh crowd quiets to witness Queen’s coffin and King Charles
Applause follows as cortege passes by en route to service of thanksgiving in Scottish capital

Robert Booth, Libby Brooks and Severin Carrell

12, Sep, 2022 @5:40 PM

Article image
Queen’s children hold vigil over coffin in Westminster Hall
King Charles led second vigil with siblings as the public filed past

Caroline Davies

16, Sep, 2022 @8:04 PM

Article image
Prince Andrew to Queen’s consent: a recent history of royal upheaval
Jailing of Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking has fuelled latest in long line of bruising headlines about royals

Caroline Davies

01, Jul, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Queen to lie in state for four days in Westminster Hall before funeral
Coffin carried on horse-drawn gun carriage from Buckingham Palace as thousands queue to pay last respects

Robert Booth

14, Sep, 2022 @3:00 PM

Article image
Who’ll keep the royal soap opera high in the ratings? Not Andrew or Edward, for sure | Stephen Bates
Charles, Camilla and the Cambridges have their work cut out, says author and former Guardian royal correspondent Stephen Bates

Stephen Bates

09, Sep, 2022 @2:34 PM

Article image
Queen Elizabeth II obituary
Monarch who through her seven decades of public service became a figure of fascination by remaining steadfastly private

Stephen Bates

08, Sep, 2022 @7:25 PM

Article image
The royal clan: who’s who, what do they do and how much money do they get?
The Guardian has calculated what each working royal has received during their working life carrying out official functions

Cost of the crown team

07, Apr, 2023 @12:00 PM

Article image
Prince Philip: William and Harry to walk apart as Queen sits alone at funeral
Brothers will be separated by cousin Peter Phillips as they walk behind coffin, Buckingham Palace reveals

Caroline Davies

15, Apr, 2021 @5:26 PM

Article image
Sophie and Edward: what key role after death of Prince Philip could mean
Sophie, who updated public on grieving royal family, and Edward look set to take on increasingly high profiles

Caroline Davies

19, Apr, 2021 @3:32 PM

Article image
King Charles addresses parliament at Westminster Hall
New monarch pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at ceremony and receives condolences from Speakers

Peter Walker Political correspondent

12, Sep, 2022 @10:07 AM