Princess Anne thanks sailors and soldiers for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral role

Her brother, Prince Edward, is visiting Estonia and Germany to recognise British troops' service

Princess Anne meets Royal Navy personnel at Portsmouth Naval Base who took part in Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession. PA
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Princess Anne broke off from official royal mourning on Thursday to thank members of the British armed forces who were involved in Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

The princess visited Portsmouth Naval Base on England's south coast and St Omer Barracks, Aldershot, in the south-eastern county of Hampshire.

Princess Anne, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, met Royal Navy personnel who took part in her mother's funeral procession on Monday. This involved 98 sailors pulling the queen's coffin on a gun carriage into Westminster Abbey in a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901.

The queen's daughter joined her brother, King Charles III, in walking behind the coffin as part of the procession. She had also stood vigil in Westminster Hall and St Giles's Cathedral in Edinburgh, accompanying the queen's body as she returned to London.

After meeting sailors, she then travelled to Aldershot in the afternoon. As Colonel-in-Chief of both the Royal Logistic Corps and Royal Corps of Signals, she visited personnel from across the Corps who played a vital role in providing logistical support for the funeral and other associated ceremonial duties.

Extraordinary images from an extraordinary day

Meanwhile, her brother, the Earl of Wessex, will visit troops on deployment in Estonia and Germany to recognise their service to king and country.

Prince Edward, in his role as Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion The Rifles and Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, arrived in the Estonian capital Tallinn on Wednesday evening before Thursday’s visit to the Camp Tapa military base.

Once there, he will meet 2 Rifles personnel to thank them for their vital support to UK military operations. He will recognise their service to the queen during her time as commander-in-chief and their commitment to King Charles as head of the armed forces.

The earl will then travel to Paderborn, Germany, on Friday to visit troops on deployment from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry at the Normandy Barracks. He will pay tribute to the continuing service of the armed forces stationed abroad.

The royal visits come as Australia held a national day of mourning for the queen on Thursday, with a memorial service taking place at Parliament House in Canberra.

The royal family is continuing its period of mourning for the queen, to be observed until seven days after the funeral.

Members are not expected to carry out official engagements and flags at royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8am on Tuesday ― after the final day of royal mourning.

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Updated: September 22, 2022, 11:34 AM
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