Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, and her husband Prince Edward surprised mourners outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday 17 September as they made an unexpected appearance to thank them for their well wishes.
The Royal couple took several minutes to shake hands and speak to the mourners who had gathered outside the Palace to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who sadly passed away on 8 September.
Excited crowds of well wishers, including some who had been standing for several hours, cheered and applauded as the couple made an appearance outside the Palace gates on Saturday afternoon, before taking their time to greet as many people as possible.
Dressed all-in-black for the occasion the couple were inundated with flowers, cards and teddy bears as they shared their grief with the nation, with one young mourner in particular catching Sophie's eye during their visit.
The young girl is said to have first caught Sophie's attention as she sported a t-shirt decorated with photos of the late Queen through the decades of her reign – with the Countess even stopping to chat to her for a few moments.
Both Sophie and Edward appeared at times, to be visibly emotional at the sheer scale of the crowds before them, with the latest walkabout coming shortly after the Royal Family admitted it had been “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion” following the Queen’s death.
In a statement yesterday, Edward said: “As a family, we have grown up learning to share our parents, especially our beloved mama, with the nation, her realms and the Commonwealth.
“While it has been lovely to have spent time saying our own farewell privately at Balmoral, it is now time to allow others to be able to say their farewell.
"We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us.
“And now, we are there for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means.
“The Queen's passing has left an unimaginable void in all our lives. Sophie and I have taken huge pleasure in seeing our James and Louise enjoying the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much.
“Given that my mama let us spend so much time with her, I think she also rather enjoyed watching those passions blossom. Those times together, those happy memories, have now become massively precious to each and every one of us.
“May God bless Her Majesty and may her memory be long cherished even as the baton she has carried for these past 70 years now passes to the next generation and to my brother, Charles. Long live the King.”
The Countess of Wessex and her husband weren’t the only Royals to make a surprise visit on Saturday either, as their arrival came shortly after both King Charles III and his son Prince William met mourners queueing along the banks of the Thames to see the Queen lying-in-state.
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Extending over five miles long, thousands of people have queued for hours at a time in recent days to bid the former monarch a final farewell ahead of her state funeral on Monday.
Among the people queuing have been individuals from all four corners of the UK, but also from further afield, with visitors from Canada and Australia also among those hoping to pay their respects.
A number of famous faces have also been spotted waiting patiently to visit the Queen, including footballing legend David Beckham and Hollywood icon Tilda Swinton.
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