Prince William: Queen coffin procession 'brought back memories of Diana's funeral'

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
(Left to right) Peter Phillips, the Duke of Sussex, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex follow the bearer party carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
Peter Phillips, the Duke of Sussex, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex follow the bearer party carrying the coffin of the Queen. (PA)

The Prince of Wales has said walking behind the Queen's coffin brought back memories of his own mother's funeral 25 years ago.

Prince William was among the royals who walked behind Her Majesty's casket as it left Buckingham Palace to lie in state in Westminster on Wednesday.

He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his brother Prince Harry as the pair joined King Charles and other senior members of the family.

While viewing flower tributes to the Queen in Sandringham on Thursday, William reportedly chatted to an onlooker and told her the procession brought back memories of when he was a teenager, the Telegraph reported.

Jane Wells, 54, from Lincolnshire, told the newspaper: “He said how difficult it was yesterday and how it reminded him of his mum’s funeral... Catherine said it’s just been such a difficult time for all of them, for the whole family.”

He was also caught on camera talking to the public, was heard saying: "Doing the walk yesterday was challenging, it brought back a few memories.

"It's kind of one of those moments where you think to yourself 'I've prepared myself for this, but I'm not that prepared'."

FILE - Prince William walks with his head bowed behind the coffin of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales draped in the Royal Standard, en route to London's Westminster Abbey for her funeral ceremony, Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997. Now Prince William looks and sounds good, standing tall as he prepares for married life. But it is possible that the future king's easy self-assurance and quality tailoring masks some damage caused by his parent's failed marriage and his mother's death. (AP Photo/Ulli Michel, Pool, File)
Prince William walks with his head bowed behind the coffin of his mother Diana on the day of her funeral in 1997. (PA)
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 1997 file photo, from left, Britain's Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral procession for Diana, Princess of Wales. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died, it was announced on Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 99. Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle. Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, married Elizabeth in 1947 and was the longest-serving consort in British history.  (AP Photo/Jeff J. Mitchell, Pool, File)
Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral procession for Diana. (PA)

William and Harry were positioned behind their father as part of the procession, which left the palace at 2.22pm, through the streets of London.

The pair walked behind the coffin of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales almost exactly 25 years ago, when they were just 15 and 12.

He previously said doing it was the "hardest thing" and was a "very long, lonely walk."

Speaking of the balance between personal and public life, he added there was conflict "between me being Prince William and having to do my bit, versus the private William who just wanted to go into a room and cry, who'd lost his mother."

Read more: Harry and William stand shoulder-to-shoulder as they pay respects to Queen

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.(PA)
Members of the Royal Family, (left to right) Earl of Snowden, the Prince of Wales, King Charles III, the Duke of Gloucester, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Sussex follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
Members of the Royal Family, (left to right) Earl of Snowden, the Prince of Wales, King Charles III, the Duke of Gloucester, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Sussex follow the coffin. (PA)

During Wednesday's procession, the Queen's coffin was draped with a Royal Standard and adorned with the priceless, glittering Imperial State Crown as it was pulled on a gun carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

In bright summer sunshine, funeral marches played by military bands added to the sombre mood that left some mourners weeping, while others held up their camera phones.

The journey from the palace to the ancient Westminster Hall, where King Charles I was tried for treason in 1649, took 38 minutes – passing landmarks the Queen knew well like Horse Guards Parade, the Cenotaph and Downing Street.

Read more: Queen's funeral - Start time and schedule as monarch is laid to rest

Accompanied by her family, the solemn occasion marked the point at which the Queen was effectively being handed over to the the nation for her lying in state, over four days ahead of the state funeral on Monday.

William stared straight ahead as he processed directly behind his father the King, in keeping with his place as the new heir to the throne.