Prince William tells Mourner Queen Elizabeth's funeral 'will be difficult'

Prince William tells Mourner Queen Elizabeth’s funeral ‘will be difficult’

Prince William is preparing to say his final farewell to his grandmother Queen Elizabeth ahead of the late monarch’s state funeral on Monday.

The Prince of Wales and his wife Kate Middleton greeted mourners outside the Norwich Gates of Sandringham House on Thursday as thousands of moving tributes were paid to the late monarch, who died on September 8 aged 96.

“William said he thought Monday was going to be tough,” Bex Neeve of Norfolk Country tells PEOPLE.

Neeve, 44, waited more than two hours to see the couple outside Sandringham House, the Queen’s privately owned home, and have a chance to speak to them.

“Kate said it was overwhelming and she and William are very grateful to have everyone here,” says Neeve. “She was emotional. They looked like they were there to soak up all the love.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

After the Queen’s death a week ago, William’s father became King Charles III. and began his reign. A day later, the new king addressed the nation for the first time, announcing that William and Kate, both 40, would inherit the titles Prince and Princess of Wales once held by him and William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Thursday’s outing marked Prince William and Kate’s first solo appearance since inheriting the titles.

“You can tell William is his mother’s son,” Neeve’s mother Sharon Clouting, 64, told People. “He was so easy going and very honest.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Sarah Tomlinson, from the nearby town of Kings Lynn, was also on hand as William and Kate stepped into Sandringham House to view the 30,000 bouquets of flowers, balloons, notes and other tributes left by well-wishers in honor of the late Queen, who traditionally spent the Christmas season in object.

“I can’t believe how they are together,” Tomlinson, 51, tells PEOPLE. “They seem to support us more than we support them.

On Wednesday, the Queen’s coffin traveled through London from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she lay in state for five days before her funeral on Monday.

Prince William joined the King and other members of the royal family, including his brother Prince Harry, in the procession.

The Queen Elizabeth II.
Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty

Kate and Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, were visibly emotional as the monarch’s coffin, which was topped with an imperial state crown and draped with a royal standard, arrived in the medieval hall.

Early on Monday morning, the coffin will be moved to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral for the Queen, who has reigned for a record 70 years.

The royal family will be joined by diplomats and dignitaries from around the world to say goodbye before the monarch is laid to rest in King George VI Chapel. in the chapel of St. George in the walls of Windsor Castle alongside her husband of 73 years. , Prince Philip, her sister Princess Margaret and her parents, King George VI. and the Queen Mother.

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