Prince Harry and Prince William are expected to make another carefully managed show of unity Wednesday, when they will walk behind the queen’s body as it travels from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall this afternoon. The solemn procession will inevitable stir memories of the boys walking behind Diana’s coffin together 25 years ago.
Their wives are expected to travel together in a following car.
The cortege will depart Buckingham Palace, where the queen’s body lay Tuesday night, at exactly 2:22 p.m. Wednesday, with the lead-lined oak coffin borne on a gun carriage through London’s grand ceremonial streets.
Charles, William, Harry, Andrew, Edward, and Anne will follow the coffin on foot as it makes its 38-minute journey in front of thousands of mourners lining the streets.
A palace source said the royals would process in “no particular order,” however it is understood that Harry and William will walk side by side.
Harry, Meghan, Kate, and William are understood to have come face to face Tuesday night as the family gathered for the return of the queen’s remains to Buckingham Palace.
Harry has been told he may not wear military uniform, and Tuesday night he issued an angry statement that attacked media for commenting on that fact, and also appeared to express his dissatisfaction with the decision.
In a message disseminated online by reporter Omid Scobie, Harry’s office said: “Prince Harry will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
The queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days. An estimated 400,000 people are expected to brave five mile queues and waits of as many as 35 hours to pay their respects.
For William and Harry, Wednesday’s procession may bring back painful memories of the cortege that they joined, at age 15 and 12, to walk behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
Harry has condemned the decision to make him participate in that walk in recent years.