Prince William and Kate Middleton stepped out on Thursday to view floral bouquets, balloons, and tributes of all sorts left by members of the public at Sandringham in Norfolk, England, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The outing marked the couple’s first solo appearance since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales, a title given to William by his father, King Charles III, after Her Majesty died on Sept. 8.
In photos from the day, William and Kate can be seen chatting with onlookers while collecting flowers and cards. Kate wore a black dress, with a long overcoat, while William donned a black suit.
According to the Daily Mail, William told one woman that walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday was “very difficult.” He went on to say that the procession reminded him of when his mother, the late Princess Diana, died. “Don’t cry now, you’ll start me off,” he told the onlooker.
NEW: Prince William has told wellwishers at Sandringham that following the Queen’s coffin reminded him of his mother’s funeral, which had been “particularly difficult.”
When one woman told him she was close to tears, he replied: “Don’t cry now – you’ll start me.” #PrinceWilliam
— Emily Nash (@emynash) September 15, 2022
The Daily Mail also reported that Kate gave an update on their children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, who recently started as new students at Lambrook School, saying they are “doing well and they were being looked after at school.”
As for how the children are processing the death of their great-grandmother, according to the Daily Mail, William told one person that while George understands it, Charlotte and Louis aren’t as aware of the loss.
Bex Neeve, who spoke with the senior royals on Thursday, told People that William said the funeral on Monday “will be hard,” and that “Kate said it’s been overwhelming and she and William are very grateful for everyone being here.”
“She was emotional. They seemed like they were here to soak up all the love,” Neeve added.
On Thursday, King Charles II and the royal family shared a statement of gratitude for the outpouring of support they’ve received.
“His Majesty The King and the Royal Family wish to send their sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world,” the statement read. “The Royal Family has been deeply moved by the global response and affection shown for The Queen as people join them in mourning the loss of Her Majesty.”
The statement also shared additional details of the Queen’s funeral on Monday, confirming that she will be buried with her husband, Prince Philip. Her Majesty will lay to rest next to her father King George VI and mother Queen Elizabeth.
News of Queen Elizabeth’s death was confirmed by the royal family on Sept. 8, who said she “died peacefully at Balmoral” in Scotland. She was 96.
MORE FROM ET: