Prince William and Kate Middleton issued a public statement on Monday including their final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. The queen's funeral was held at Westminster Abbey in London, England on Monday, and afterward, Prince William and Middleton posted a heartfelt tribute to her on social media.
"Goodbye to a Queen, a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother," the post read. It included a black-and-white photo of pallbearers carrying the queen's coffin on Monday. The ceremony was as lavish as the royal family could manage, and the photo emphasized that. It showed the coffin draped in the Windsor family crest and adorned with a crown along with other symbols of royalty. Still, coverage of the event made it clear that this was a family in mourning as well.
Goodbye to a Queen, a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. pic.twitter.com/hKEI9RcAOp— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) September 19, 2022
Prince William and Middleton are now the Prince and Princess of Wales, as Prince William is now the heir to the throne after his father, King Charles III. Their children are next in the order of succession in order of birth. Their elder children were in attendance on Monday – 9-year-old Prince George and 7-year-old Princess Charlotte – but 4-year-old Prince Louis was not.
The famously stoic family showed signs of grief in the days between the queen's passing and her funeral. Prince Harry could be seen crying during a memorial service on Wednesday, Sept. 14 when the queen's remains were transported from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for her lying-in-state period. He held hands with his wife, Meghan Markle and covered his face briefly with a program when he became emotional.
On Monday, King Charles himself nearly broke down in tears as well. Near the end of the ceremony, the assembly sang "God Save the King," during which time the king could be seen fighting not to cry. Insiders say that these signs of loss were just the tip of the iceberg for the royal family.
"They were flushed. You could see that William and Harry and King Charles were deeply affected," said royalty expert Lesley Garven in an interview with PEOPLE. "Really deeply emotionally affected by the whole thing, and that really touched me. They were obviously holding it together, but when you are so close to somebody you can really feel it and see it, and I think that was probably quite... it was human."
"It was real human feelings," Garven continued. "Being in there was quite up close and personal and intimate. And it was that whole feeling of, 'This is somebody's mother and grandmother.' Below the pageantry, you could really feel it. The real, raw feelings of people."