Prince William 'choked up' after seeing Paddington Bear tributes to the queen

Prince and Princess of Wales thank staff and volunteers in Windsor during first engagement since monarch's funeral

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Prince William and his wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, have thanked volunteers and operational staff for their work during Queen Elizabeth II's committal service at Windsor Castle.

The pair arrived at Windsor Guildhall on Thursday for their first royal engagement since the late monarch’s funeral.

Both passed on their appreciation to volunteers and staff who worked during the service at St George’s Chapel on Monday afternoon.

They also thanked the group for supporting the large crowds that gathered in Windsor to commemorate the queen and watch the procession of her coffin up the Long Walk to the castle before the service.

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived dressed in dark colours as they continued to observe the royal mourning period, which lasts until Monday.

The joint engagement was their first since Prince William became the heir apparent after the death of his grandmother. The prince has inherited the title Duke of Cornwall and is now the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, while Kate is now known as the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The prince revealed that he became “choked up” after seeing the number of Paddington Bear tributes left for the late monarch.

He said that it was “comforting that so many people care”.

“There are certain moments that catch you out. You are prepared for all but certain moments catch you out,” he said.

“It is the things you don’t expect that get to you.”

Speaking later to council workers, Prince William also joked about there being a new “competition” between Paddington Bear and the corgis.

He said Paddington is “a new addition” but “the corgis have been there for longer”.

Prince William and Kate also spoke to members of the Crown Estate, who helped to organise the floral tributes in Windsor, about the number of flowers left by members of the public.

The pair met dozens of volunteers and staff as they continued to observe an official mourning period.  AP

Other members of the royal family are also undertaking engagements on Thursday to thank people involved in the queen’s funeral and to recognise the service of those on deployment overseas.

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is visiting Estonia and Germany in his role as Royal Colonel of the 2nd Battalion of the Rifles and Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

This trip includes thanking members of the 2nd Rifles for their service to the queen at Camp Tapa, Estonia, and visiting troops from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry at the Normandy Barracks in Paderborn, Germany.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is visiting Portsmouth Naval Base to meet Royal Navy personnel who took part in the funeral procession.

She will also visit St Omer Barracks in Aldershot to meet personnel who played a central role in providing logistical support during the funeral.

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Updated: September 22, 2022, 2:55 PM
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