Queen funeral: King Charles and Prince William make impromptu visit to thank mourners lining up to pay their respects

King Charles and his son the Prince of Wales stunned and delighted hundreds of mourners on Lambeth Bridge, lining up to see the Queen’s lying in state.

The surprise appearance saw some exhausted mourners who had lined up for more than 14 hours burst into tears.

King Charles shook hands with well wishers at the back of the line for those wanting to view the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall.

There were cheers for the King as he spent several minutes showing his appreciation for their thoughts.

A security guard could be heard telling the crowd ahead of their meeting with the King: “Phones down please, just enjoy the moment. Shake hands, enjoy the moment.”

Others in the crowd shouted out: “Three cheers for His Majesty, hip, hip, hooray.”

“You have very warm hands, you must have been well dressed last night,” Prince William told another mourner as he shook their hand.

Prince William said his grandmother would have been amazing at the long lines of mourners.

“She would never believe this, honestly,” he said.

“I hope you have enjoyed chatting with each other.”

Prince William said the Queen’s dogs were being cared for.

“The corgis, they are being looked after very well,” he said.

King Charles earlier thanked police and emergency services who have protected events following the Queen’s death.

The new monarch spoke with the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Mark Rowley, who stepped into his job last week at a police headquarters in Lambeth, south London.

His Majesty traveled to the meeting in a Rolls Royce from Buckingham Palace at about 9pm Australian time on Saturday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors and Commander Karen Findlay personally briefed King Charles on all the efforts being made to protect the events surrounding the Queen’s funeral.

More than 20,000 police shifts have been used to ensure the Queen’s funeral goes ahead without incident.

King Charles also thanked members of the London Ambulance Service, the London Fire Brigade and Transport for London.

PM VISITS WESTMINSTER TO PAY RESPECTS TO THE QUEEN

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has arrived at Westminster to pay his respects to the Queen.

Mr Albanese was joined by his partner Jodie Haydon, acting Australian High Commissioner Lynette Wood and Governor-General David Hurley.

A solemn Mr Albanese bowed in a moment of deep reflection beside the Queen’s coffin. The Governor-general was also clearly moved and also bowed down low.

The visit to Westminster followed Mr Albanese’s private 45-minute meeting with British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Both leaders are new in their jobs, although Ms Truss has only been in the job a little over a week after being installed by the Queen just two days before her death.

Mr Albanese offered Australia’s condolences on the death of the Queen, with Ms Truss also offering sympathy as Australia also lost its head of state.

The pair then chatted about strategic interests on climate change, trade and investment.

Ms Truss has long standing links with Australia, and was particularly close with Australia’s previous High Commissioner to the UK, George Brandis.

The pair often kept in close contact, and Ms Truss visited Australia before she was British PM.

‘I FEEL DEEPLY SADDENED’: BEN ROBERTS-SMITH BREAKS SILENCE

Former SAS corporal and Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith has paid tribute to the Queen, who he met several times.

Mr Roberts-Smith, 43, was invited to the funeral because he is a recipient of the Victoria Cross.

On Saturday he spoke for the first time about the Queen he knew and how sad he was at hearing of her death.

“I feel deeply saddened by Her Majesty’s passing, I had an immense respect for her and she was someone I greatly admired,” Mr Roberts-Smith said.

“In every interaction I had with the Queen she was warm, insightful and engaging.

“She was a magnificent monarch, a stoic leader, and importantly just a lovely lady.

“I feel extremely honored to be fortunate enough to pay my respects to the Queen and humbled that she saw fit to include the Victoria Cross recipients in her funeral procession.”

The defense department has confirmed the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association had invited all holders of the Victoria Cross to attend the Queen’s funeral as well as her lying in state, “in accordance with the wishes of Her Majesty”.

Along with Mr Roberts-Smith, three other recipients of military honors, Keith Payne, Mark Donaldson and Daniel Keighran, have been invited to Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey and are expected to take part in an order of chivalry procession.

Mr Roberts-Smith met HRH Queen Elizabeth II on several occasions.

He did not fly with the other guests to the UK on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s RAAF jet.

Instead he arrived at Heathrow on a commercial flight this week and made a beeline for the taxi rank after his driver failed to show.

Mr Albanese, who arrived in London on Saturday morning Australian time, nine “everyday citizens” from Australia will attend the service – including Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott, and Sydney father and campaigner Danny Abdallah.

Mr Roberts-Smith and other Australian VC holders were asked separately by the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.

The Queen was patron of the association since its inception in 1956, and personally requested all living members be invited to her funeral.

AUSTRALIA PREPARES TO SAY FAREWELL

Australia is preparing to say goodbye to the Queen.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s first full day in London will be dedicated to saying farewell to Australia’s beloved monarch.

Early Saturday Australian time, he and partner Jodie Haydon placed a bouquet at Buckingham Palace and later today he will join nine Aussies representing the country to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall, after gaining special access as VIP guests .

“Her Majesty The Queen held a very special place in the hearts of many Australians,” he said.

“Queen Elizabeth gave a life of service and dignity and Australians honor her service, pay respect to her memory and give thanks for her life of dedication to duty.

“Arriving in London, you can see and feel the affection that is held for Her Majesty and it is an honor to be here representing Australia as Prime Minister.

“During this visit I will be meeting with King Charles and conveying condolences on behalf of all Australians for the loss of the Sovereign and of course, the loss of his Mother.”

Later Mr Albanese, just four months into his premiership, is due to have an audience with King Charles III.

He is also expected to join Governor-General David Hurley to sign a book of condolences at Lancaster House.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had a private 45-minute meeting with British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Saturday morning UK time.

Both leaders are new in their jobs, although Ms Truss has only been in the job a little over a week after being installed by the Queen just two days before her death.

Mr Albanese offered Australia’s condolences on the death of the Queen, with Ms Truss also offering sympathy as Australia also lost its head of state.

The pair then chatted about strategic interests on climate change, trade and investment.

Ms Truss has long standing links with Australia, and was particularly close with Australia’s previous High Commissioner to the UK, George Brandis.

The pair often kept in close contact, and Ms Truss visited Australia before she was British PM.

Seven Victoria Cross and 10 George Cross medal recipients will attend the Queen’s funeral including one from New Zealand and four from Australia.

Corporal Former Ben Roberts-Smith will join the contingent of the country’s most decorated servicemen after the Queen had made her wishes known that Victorian Cross recipients, Mr Roberts-Smith, Keith Payne, Mark Donaldson, Daniel Keighran and George Cross holder Michael Pratt were to be invited to the service before her death.

The decorated former soldiers, and Mr Pratt, a former police officer, will also attend the Queen’s lying in state and some will form part of the procession of the Orders of Chivalry, a guard of honor for the Queen’s coffin.

The nine Aussies from all states and territories – there were 10 until champion horse trainer Chris Waller dropped out when a family member was struck with Covid – arrived early Saturday Australian time on the Prime Minister’s private jet.

They include disabled tennis champion and Paralympian Dylan Alcott and i4give Day and Foundation co-founder Danny Abdallah, who lost three of his six children when a drunk and drugged driver mowed them down.

The Queen’s horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, who hitched a last minute flight with the “ordinary” citizens aboard Mr Albanese’s private RAAF jet when she could not get a commercial flight, and who is invited to the funeral by the Lord Chamberlain, Andrew Parker, said : “It is a huge honor to be traveling with our PM to attend and give thanks for being blessed to have known the Queen.

“The funeral will be an occasion like no other and to represent my country will last in our memory just as will her memory.

“I had the honor of training for the Queen Mother and the Queen. Both were very passionate racing devotees, both were so gracious and kind to us both.

“We loved afternoon teas at Ascot with them. I so enjoyed our regular phone conversations, the Queen had a wonderful sense of humour.”

She went on, “My Carlton House (stallion) won more prize money for Her Majesty than all her other runners put together that year.

“I trained Sweet Idea, Her Majesty’s best broodmare.”

Originally published as Queen funeral: King Charles and Prince William make impromptu visit to thank mourners lining up to pay their respects

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