Jobs of up to 20 staff who worked closely with Queen could be at risk

Daniel Boffey Chief reporter

Tue, 20 September 2022 at 6:30 pm

<img src="–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3NjtjZj13ZWJw/–~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/; alt="<span>Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian
Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

Up to 20 royal staff who provided personal services to the late Queen have been told their jobs could be at risk under King Charles III, the Guardian can reveal.

Those affected were informed shortly after the monarch’s death but advised by the royal household that formal consultations could start only after Monday’s state funeral.

The staff left worrying about their jobs over the mourning period were those who had worked most closely with the monarch.

According to sources, they could include some of the all-female dressers responsible for the Queen’s famous outfits and the staff who helped the monarch move between the royal palaces.

The development follows last week’s revelation that up to 100 employees at the King’s former official residence, Clarence House, had been notified that they could lose their jobs.

Private secretaries, and staff in the finance office and communications team were among those who received notice during the thanksgiving service for the Queen at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on 12 September that their posts at Clarence House were on the line.

The potential royal redundancies illustrate the swift and brutal nature of the transition of the crown from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III.

In the case of the Queen’s personal staff, a letter was sent on behalf of Andrew Parker in his role as Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer role in the royal household.

At the same time, counselling sessions and a special hotline for those distressed by the news of the Queen’s death were made available to those working in the five departments of her household.

Staff were told that a formal consultation with Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the privy purse, to discuss the potential redundancies among the personal staff was to be arranged for after Monday’s funeral services at Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The palace said in their letters that no definitive decisions had been made but that an impact on roles was anticipated.

When approached for a response, Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents a number of employees in the royal households, said: “Our members are extremely disappointed and saddened by this development.

“They have worked for the Queen, intimately, for years and feel let down by the decision to let them go. They are already grieving the loss of Her Majesty – this is kicking them when they’re down.”

A meeting has been arranged for Wednesday with representatives of those affected it was understood. Buckingham Palace did not respond to a request for comment.

Many of those affected will probably have played a role in what was dubbed HMS Bubble – the attempt to protect the Queen at the height of the Covid pandemic.

King Charles, however, will want to bring his own staff over as he takes on the responsibilities of monarch.

At Clarence House, the 28 members of his household staff include four chefs, five house managers, three valets and dressers and a couple of butlers.

There will likely be an attempt to move affected staff to other roles if possible. But some of those attending the Queen will have very specialised skills that are not easily transferred. Roles at Buckingham Palace include such rarities as a flagman and a fendersmith responsible for upkeep of the royal chimney fenders.

While there will seemingly be a purge at Clarence House and among the personal staff, the vast majority of employees at the royal palaces will remain in post. The staff payroll was £23.7m in 2022.

According to the annual Sovereign Grant Report for 2021/22, there were 491 full-time staff working at the occupied royal palaces, which include Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Windsor Castle.

One member of staff who was expected to be looked after by the royal household is the Queen’s stylist, hairdresser and aide, Angela Kelly, 64, who has been reportedly been given use of her grace and favour home until her own death.

In response to the notices of a risk of redundancy at Clarence House, a spokesman had said last week hat some redundancies would be unavoidable but that they were “working urgently to identify alternative roles for the greatest number of staff”.

King Charles retreats to Balmoral to privately mourn Elizabeth II’s death

King Charles III places the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards during a committal service for Queen Elizabeth II at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Monday - Joe Giddens/AP
King Charles III places the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards during a committal service for Queen Elizabeth II at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Monday – Joe Giddens/AP

The King and Queen have travelled to Scotland to begin their private mourning for Elizabeth II in the place she loved best.

After 12 days of duty, hosting world leaders and serving as the face of a grieving nation, the King retreated on Tuesday for a week of private reflection.

There was only one place he could go – Balmoral, where his mother found peace in life and death.

Accompanied by the new Queen, the King left Windsor Castle on Tuesday after spending the night there with his extended family.

Flying from RAF Northolt to Aberdeen and being driven via eco-friendly electric car, they are expected to stay at their own home of Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate, which was inherited from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The King pictured after arriving at Aberdeen Airport, on his way to Balmoral
The King pictured after arriving at Aberdeen Airport, on his way to Balmoral

There, the King will be able to visit the last place he saw his mother, who died at the age of 96 on Sept 8 while at Balmoral.

The King and his sister, the Princess Royal, were able to reach her bedside before she died peacefully.

The Balmoral estate was a particular favourite home of the late Queen, with a special place in the heart of the Royal family who spent happy summers there together each year.

It is largely private, allowing them to picnic, walk unobserved and host guests in happier times.

The monarch will continue with his constitutional duties. He will read red boxes and is likely to hold some telephone audiences that cannot wait.

But, a source said, it is a moment for “quiet reflection” for the King and Queen to grieve for their late mother and mother-in-law and process all that has happened since her death.

Shortly after Queen Elizabeth II’s burial, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor on Monday night, the Royal family’s social media shared a photograph of her on the Scottish estate.

The photo of the late Queen in the Scottish hills in 1971 was released on Monday - 5th Earl of Lichfield
The photo of the late Queen in the Scottish hills in 1971 was released on Monday – 5th Earl of Lichfield

Underlining its importance to her, it showed the late Queen in the wilds of the Scottish hills surrounded by heather.

Taken in 1971 by her cousin, the 5th Earl of Lichfield – a photographer whose archive contains a treasure trove of images of the off-duty Royal family over numerous Balmoral summers – it is thought to be previously unseen. It was retrieved from the royal archives to commemorate Her Majesty’s death.

A caption, posted online, echoed the Shakespeare quote used by the King in his first television address to the nation to say: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

It added: “In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen. 1926-2022.”

The King has previously considered Highgrove to be his personal sanctuary, briefly returning there for a night away from the London spotlight between the late Queen’s death and her funeral.

The King has asked the Royal family to observe another week of royal mourning, in which they are not expected to make public appearances.

Some events have been cancelled and, although senior members of the Royal family will be permitted to visit patronages or thank the public where it feels appropriate, there are currently no plans to do so in the coming days.

Once the mourning period is over, there will be a phased period back to working life – starting with military or charity engagements, before working members of the Royal family continue with their personal projects and causes.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will observe the same protocol.

Queen queue jump: who waited in line and who didn’t?

This Morning
 hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have insisted they would “never jump a queue” as they addressed their controversial visit to see the Queen lying in state.

The pair were accused of “skipping the queue” on social media after they appeared inside Westminster Hall on Friday without taking part in the public line.

Some media and MPs were able to bypass the queue and access Westminster Hall during the roughly four-day lying in state.

MPs are given special passes to bypass the public queue and can bring up to four guests with them – a privilege that has been criticised by members of the public as “elitist” and “unfair”.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)

But other celebrities joined the thousands of people who spent hours patiently standing in the line, which at one point reached a wait time of at least 24 hours.

ITV bosses later said Willoughby and Schofield attended to film a segment for an upcoming show, while Willoughby on Tuesday insisted they “would never jump a queue”.

As the fallout continues, here’s a roundup of all the celebrities who waited their turn in the public queue:

David Beckham

David Beckham leaves Westminster Hall (AFP via Getty Images)
David Beckham leaves Westminster Hall (AFP via Getty Images)

Football star David Beckham was praised widely for waiting 13 hours in the public queue to view the Queen’s lying in state on Friday 16 September.

He joined fellow mourners in the official queue at 2am and got through the night on a diet of “Pringles, sherbet lemons, sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts”, he said.

The 47-year-old former England captain was reportedly offered the opportunity to pay his respects to the late monarch as a guest of an MP but declined.

When asked why he decided to view the Queen’s coffin lying in state, Beckham said: “I grew up in a household of royalists and I was brought up that way, so if my grandparents would have been here today, I know that they would have wanted to be here.”

Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid paid tribute to the Queen on ‘Good Morning Britain’ (ITV)
Susanna Reid paid tribute to the Queen on ‘Good Morning Britain’ (ITV)

Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid waited seven hours to see the Queen’s coffin with her mother and her mother’s friend.

The host documented their long wait on Twitter and shared tips for others waiting in line.

“If you are planning to queue here are our tips. We joined at 1.23pm near Butlers Wharf and entered Westminster Hall at 8.43pm – 7 hours 20 minutes,” she wrote.

“Wear the comfiest shoes you own. Go with someone if you can, although everyone in the queue was friendly.”

Tilda Swinton

Actress Tilda Swinton was spotted among thousands of mourners queuing to see the Queen’s coffin (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Actress Tilda Swinton was spotted among thousands of mourners queuing to see the Queen’s coffin (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Tilda Swinton was spotted among the thousands of people to see the coffin.

The Oscar-winning actor – known for her roles in Doctor Strange and We Need to Talk About Kevin – wore black as she bowed to honour the late monarch.

Swinton was a friend and classmate of Princess Diana, as the pair both attended West Heath Girls’ School in Kent.

Sharon Osbourne

Former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne was seen in the line comforting other mourners (AFP via Getty Images)
Former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne was seen in the line comforting other mourners (AFP via Getty Images)

Sharon Osbourne was seen in the line comforting other mourners as they waited together.

The former X Factor judge was among one of the first people to join the queue last Wednesday and was accompanied by a crew filming for her TalkTV series The Talk and her co-host JJ Anisiobi.

She said: “I love the Queen, and I came over for this because I’m a royalist and I love the royal family.”

James Blunt

 (Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)
(Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)

Singer James Blunt and his wife Sofia Wellesley waited patiently to pay their respects to the Queen.

Responding to reports he had joined the queue, Blunt joked on Twitter on Sunday night (18 September): “Offered to sing, and am now being ushered to the front.”

Prior to his career as a musician, Blunt was a reconnaissance officer in the Life Guards regiment of the British Army.

He stood guard at the coffin of the Queen Mother when she was lying in state in 2000. The “You’re Beautiful” singer was a part of her funeral procession.

After becoming friends with Prince Harry, Blunt attended the royal’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018.

Neil Jones

Strictly dancer Neil Jones said experience was ‘one of the most incredible moments of my life’ (Ian West/PA)
Strictly dancer Neil Jones said experience was ‘one of the most incredible moments of my life’ (Ian West/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones queued for 12 hours, describing the moment he saw the Queen’s coffin lying in state as “one of the most incredible moments of my life”.

The professional dancer, 40, wrote on Instagram: “I have to say this is one of the most incredible moments of my life which I will never forget, I want to thank everyone we met while walking yesterday, thank you for the conversations, laughter and entertainment, most of all sharing the experience all together.

“We had a mum and daughter who were pushing her son in a wheelchair and were told many times they could skip the line and fast track but they declined every time because they wanted to walk with us all.

“Your Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you.”

Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes came out as gay this weekend (Getty Images)
Dame Kelly Holmes came out as gay this weekend (Getty Images)

Dame Kelly Holmes said she felt “compelled” to queue for 11 hours to see the Queen’s lying in state.

The Olympian said she was offered the chance to skip the queue by officials but opted to stay in line.

Speaking about her decision to queue, she told the BBC: “It was a remarkable day. I met so many people; people of all ages. I felt compelled to be in that queue. I had to do it. I changed all my plans for the weekend.

“I didn’t mind if I had to stay there for 24 hours. I felt it was my goodbye to her as she was very important in my life.”

Daniel Mays

 (Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
(Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Line of Duty and Des star Daniel Mays said he felt “proud to be British” after he queued for 11 hours to pay his respects to the Queen.

Posting a series of photos of himself, his wife Louise Burton and their son Mylo in the queue, he wrote on Twitter: “Eleven hours queueing to pay our respects to the Queen for her exceptional 70 years of service yesterday.

“The warmth, affection, conversations shared, glorious views and sense of community were magical to be part of. Made me proud to be British and proud to be a Londoner.”


Huw Edwards made a subtle dig at “superstar VIPs” who allegedly “jumped the queue” to see the Queen lying in state.

Hosting BBC News’s coverage in the run-up to the Queen’s funeral on Monday, the presenter said: “There have been quite a few familiar faces in the queue for that lying in state at Westminster Hall.

“We did of course see a certain David Beckham there on Friday. He was widely praised for queuing for hours and hours, not jumping the queue because he’s a superstar VIP.”

Edwards then added: “No, he was in the queue for many hours and good for him.”

GB News presenter Eamonn Holmes also appeared to take a swipe at his former This Morning co-stars.

When his co-host Isabel Webster introduced a guest “who suffered that queue and they were not of any insignificant age”, Holmes interrupted: “What, Holly and Phillip?”

Mel B also took a dig at the presenters as she praised Susanna Reid for queuing for hours.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain to talk about her MBE, the former Spice Girl said: “I have so much respect for you.

“No queue jumping for you.”

And even pizza chain Domino’s seemed unable to resist making a joke at the duo’s expense, writing on Twitter: “Apologies to anyone waiting on their pizza, we’ve just received an order from Holly and Phil #ThisMorning.”

‘Delusional’ man who rushed Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall ‘did not believe she was dead’

‘Delusional’ man who rushed Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall ‘did not believe she was dead’

A man who appeared to grab the flag draped over the Queen’s coffin planned to trespass at royal residences including Buckingham Palace because he did not believe she was dead, a court has heard.

Muhammad Khan, 28, allegedly left the queue in Westminster Hall on Friday night while the monarch was lying in state as the live feed briefly cut away.

Khan was arrested and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, charged with two counts under the Public Order Act.

Prosecutor Luke Staton said Khan had being among around 250,000 people who filed through the hall between 5pm Wednesday until early Monday morning to pay their respects after queuing for hours along the banks of the River Thames.

“The defendant had reached Westminster Hall. He was then seen by officers, who were present, to approach the coffin,” he said.

“He stepped off the carpet in the direction of the catafalque, then grabbed hold of the Royal Standard flag draped over the coffin with both of his hands.”

The court heard he was quickly detained, arrested and interviewed by police.

“The defendant did express the idea that the Queen is not dead and that he approached the coffin because he wanted to check for himself,” said Mr Staton.

“He did say, prior to the state funeral, he was planning on going to the funeral.

“He planned to write to the royal family and if they did not reply he planned to go to Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Balmoral to try to speak to the Queen.”

The court heard Khan said if he was unsuccessful: “I would have to trespass in order to try and make contact,” and when asked how many times he would try, replied: “As long as I’m living.”

District Judge Michael Snow did not ask Khan, who was not represented by a lawyer, after doctors had assessed him as not fit to take part in proceedings.

The court heard he was suffering from delusions and the judge told him: “At the time when you were in Westminster you didn’t accept that the Queen was dead and that was the reason you were moving towards the coffin to satisfy yourself that she was.”

He added: “He is delusional still and thinks the Queen is not dead, thinks King Charles has something to do with it and may go to Windsor Castle to pay his respects but also because he still thinks she is alive.”

Khan spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and that he was staying at a friend’s address in Wood Green, north London, during the hearing.

The judge granted him bail on condition he remains in an east London mental health hospital until his next appearance at the same court on October 18.

It comes after Mark Hague, 52, admitted a charge under Section 5 of the Public Order Act on Monday after he was escorted from the queue in Victoria Tower Gardens on Saturday morning.

A mourner raised the alarm after Hague was heard to say: “I will tell her to get out of her coffin because she’s not dead.”

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard Hague was arrested after he became abusive to police officers and members of the public as he was led away from the scene.

Hague was fined £120, which was deemed served because of the time he had spent in custody, but fined a further £120 as he was the subject of a conditional discharge for a previous assault on an emergency worker.

Last week, Adio Adeshine, 19, was remanded in custody charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

He allegedly exposed himself and pushed into mourners from behind as they waited in the line at Victoria Tower Gardens on Wednesday.

Adeshine is said to have gone into the River Thames in an attempt to evade police before coming out and being arrested.

Sarah Ferguson Wore a Touching Symbol of Safe Journey at Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II

Christopher Furlong/Getty

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, added a thoughtful and glittering touch to her all-black mourning attire at Queen Elizabeth II‘s state funeral on Monday.

Pinned just below her left collar, Ferguson, 62, wore a shining brooch depicting a swooping swallow, a bird that was particularly popular with Victorians in England.

“Swallows are an indication that land is nearby and according to legend they can lead ships home and prevent them from getting lost,” reads a description of similar pieces on the site of the fine jewelry brand Elmwood’s, which is based in the Notting Hill section of London. “Thanks to this legend, swallow brooches were often given to loved ones when they set out on a journey to keep them safe so they returned home safely.”

That symbolism is certainly appropriate for Fergie — as she has been affectionately known since the 1980s — to display as she said goodbye to the Queen, who died at age 96 on Sept. 8 at her Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle.

Princess Beatrice, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
Princess Beatrice, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

Joe Giddens-WPA Pool/Getty

“I think to myself that honestly, my mother-in-law has been more of a mother to me than my mother,” Fergie, who was married to the Queen’s son Prince Andrew before they divorced in 1996, said last year on the Tea with Twiggy podcast. (The Duchess’s mother, Susan Barrantes, left the family when Fergie was a child to move to Argentina with a new husband, professional polo player Héctor Barrantes. She died in a car crash in 1998.)

Despite their split, Fergie and Andrew have remained close over the years, sharing two daughters, Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie, 32, who also attended services for the Queen on the final day of public mourning for the monarch who reigned 70 years.

The princesses’ parents still live together at their family home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor, close to the Queen’s final resting place in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St. George’s Chapel, within the walls of Windsor Castle.

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2015 in Ascot, England
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2015 in Ascot, England

Samir Hussein/WireImage

“I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern,” Fergie said during the podcast appearance, “and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous.”

Fergie has also called the Queen her “greatest mentor” and the “person who believes in me.”

According to Antique Animal Jewelry, which specializes in rare and unusual Victorian and Georgian pieces, swallows also “signify love and constancy across both distance and time.”

“Swallows are birds known to mate for life, and they always return to their nests after time away,” the jeweler says of the imagery, which is considered a charm that is meant to indicate wishes for a loved one to “safely return home.”

The Duke And Duchess Of York Outside Clarence House
The Duke And Duchess Of York Outside Clarence House

Tim Graham Photo Library

Following the Queen’s death, Fergie shared a touching tribute to the monarch on Twitter.

“To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce,” Fergie wrote. “I will miss her more than words can express.”

A source recently confirmed to PEOPLE that Fergie and Prince Andrew would be adopting and caring for the late monarch’s two dogs. “The corgis will return to live at Royal Lodge with the Duke and Duchess. It was the Duchess who found the puppies, which were gifted to Her Majesty by the Duke,” the insider said.

What Happens to All the Floral Tributes Left at Royal Parks?

queen elizabeth
queen elizabeth

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth, Green Park and Hyde Park in London have filled up with floral tributes in honor of the late monarch.

Mourners will be able to continue to view and lay floral tributes in the week following the Queen’s funeral, according to The Royal Parks organization.

Once the displays are removed, the labels and cards will be detached from the flowers and put into storage. The floral arrangements will then be “taken to the Hyde Park nursery for processing to remove any remaining packaging, cards and labels and to separate plant material for composting in nearby Kensington Gardens,” according to the charity.

queen elizabeth
queen elizabeth

VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

The organic composted material will be utilized for landscaping projects across the Royal Parks, the organization, which is responsible for coordinating floral tributes during the national period of mourning, according to the organization.

The removal of the floral arrangements coincides with the ending of the royal family’s official period of mourning, which concludes seven days after the Queen’s funeral.

The Queen was buried at King George VI Memorial Chapel on Monday evening after her state funeral and committal service.

queen elizabeth
queen elizabeth


The late monarch was laid to rest beside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, during a private burial service, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in April 2021, was moved from the Royal Vault beneath the chapel, where he was temporarily interred, to be by her side.

The Palace also paid tribute to the Queen on social media alongside a beautiful photo of her enjoying the great outdoors, writing, “‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’ In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen. 1926 – 2022.”

Buckingham Palace confirmed details of the private burial with a simple statement on social media earlier Monday.

“This evening a Private Burial will take place in The King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor. The Queen will be Laid to Rest with her late husband The Duke of Edinburgh, alongside her father King George VI, mother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and sister Princess Margaret,” the palace wrote, sharing a vintage, undated photo of the five royals.

Lady Louise Windsor Honors Grandmother Queen Elizabeth with Equestrian Necklace at Funeral

Britain's Lady Louise Windsor leaves St George's Chapel inside Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022, ahead of the Committal Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
Britain’s Lady Louise Windsor leaves St George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022, ahead of the Committal Service for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Lady Louise Windsor

Lady Louise Windsor wore a sweet necklace honoring her grandmother Queen Elizabeth at the monarch’s funeral.

Louise — the 18-year-old daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip‘s youngest child, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex — wore two necklaces as she attended the late sovereign’s funeral services on Monday, including one that was in the shape of a horse’s head.

The jewelry is a clear nod to the Queen’s lifelong love of horses, which launched when she was just 4 years old after she was gifted a Shetland pony and grew fond of and adept at horseback riding. Over her long life, she owned hundreds of horses, including numerous winning racehorses.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has gifted eight horses to the Queen since 1969, according to Royal Central and The Times of London.

Four of those horses — George, Elizabeth, Darby and Sir John — are still alive today, per the outlets. These special horses helped lead the Queen’s coffin procession from Westminster Abbey during Monday’s funeral for Her Majesty.

The Committal Service For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The Committal Service For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Joe Giddens – WPA Pool/Getty From left: Prince Edward; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn

As Monarch of Canada, Queen Elizabeth was gifted her first horse from the Canadian Mounties, a coal-black mare named Burmese, in 1969, according to The Nationaland the New York Post.

Her Majesty rode Burmese for 18 years at Trooping the Color, including the 1981 incident during which a spectator shot six blanks toward the queen, who maintained her composure while still riding her horse, per the reports.

During the Queen’s committal service on Monday following her state funeral, her beloved pony Carlton Lima Emma stood on the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch Queen Elizabeth’s procession as her coffin made its final journey to St. George’s Chapel.

The Queen’s corgis, Sandy and Muick, also greeted the funeral procession at Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service.

The Queen’s state funeral and committal service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor — both events of which Louise, Edward, 58, Sophie, 57, attended, along with the couple’s younger child James, Viscount Severn, 14 — were followed by a private burial at King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St. George’s, later that day.

Following the funeral at Westminster Abbey, a guest exclusively told PEOPLE that Louise’s mother Sophie had remarkable resolve at the emotional service for her mother-in-law and has been a rock for her relatives as they mourn the Queen.

“The Countess of Wessex was incredible. I saw her putting her arm around three or four people,” lawyer Pranav Bhanot told PEOPLE on Monday. “It felt like she was really the glue keeping everyone quite strong today.”

“She really seemed to be the person keeping the family together,” Bhanot explained. “There were a few bishops who started crying when they saw the Queen and she was kind of comforting them, even though she is the direct family member.”

Princess Charlotte tells Prince George ‘you need to bow’ as Queen’s coffin passes

Princess Charlotte was seen giving Prince George a royal lesson during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, telling her older brother to bow as the procession and coffin passed them.

The great-grandchildren of the late Queen stood with their father, Prince William, and other senior royals as they watched the coffin make its journey from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.

As the funeral cortège passed them on Monday, Charlotte told George he “has to bow” and pointed towards the road.

Mom records ‘creepy’ man following her daughter through Walmart, is horrified when she looks him up online

Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of sexual violence. Please take care while reading, and note the helpful resources at the end of this story.

mom claims she captured a would-be kidnapper following (and recording) her and her daughter while shopping. A quick search online would later reveal the terrifying identity of their alleged stalker.

TikTok mom @dd_escapades had no idea an ordinary trip to Walmart would become a scary viral experience — but after posting her hair-raising footage, she quickly amassed over 8.9 million views and 17,000 comments.

Now, she’s encouraging parents everywhere always to pay attention to their surroundings.

What began as a normal shopping trip at her local Walmart quickly became a terrifying experience for @dd_escapades.

Her now-viral footage begins with a shot of shoes hanging on a shelf, as she’s sneakily trying to capture the man she claims had been following her through the store.

“I don’t know him, and he’s following me and recording me,” she says, zooming in on the man. Moments later, the space the man has just been occupying is suddenly empty. “Now he’s gone, after he realized I started recording him,” she adds.

Accompanied only by her young daughter, @dd_escapades quickly found a Walmart employee and showed them the footage she had captured. The staff member informed the store manager, who sent employees out to find and remove the man.

In a follow-up video, @dd_escapades informed followers of the terrifying discovery she’d made after looking up her alleged stalker.

“He has been identified. He is a registered sex offender, class 1. … He was arrested for molestation and rape,” she states plainly in the video.

According to @dd_escapades, she turned her footage and Walmart’s security footage over to the police and filed an official report. In another follow-up video, she shared that she would be pressing charges against the man.

“Scary people out here…”

TikTokers were quick to share their own scary shopping experiences in the comments.

“This happened to us last week. We had the manager escort us out ! At Walmart as well,” one user wrote.

“The same thing happened to me at TJMaxx a few weeks ago while I was with my 3 year old son and I’m 6 months pregnant… scary people out here!!!” another user commented.

“I was followed in Walmart by 3 men. Followed me to makeup, hair stuff then womens clothing section. A worker walked me out & the guys disappeared,” wrote one user.

“This is so much more common than people realize 😳,” another comment read.

“Good eye! Stay safe,” wrote another user.

According to Defense Ninjas, an organization devoted to women’s self-defense and empowerment, people who fear they’re being followed should verbally confront their would-be stalkers.

“Ask him: Are you following me? … If the potential follower doesn’t respond to your confrontation or ask, then it’s time to escalate. … Take a picture of him and call 911 very visibly,” they advise.

If you or someone you know needs support after experiencing sexual violence, contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673 or chat online with a trained counselor. You can also connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor at no charge by texting the word “HOME” to 741741.

The Queen’s Death Has Stirred Up Conflicting Feelings For People of Colour

Kelle Salle

Tue, 20 September 2022 at 5:13 pm

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 11: A photograph of Queen Elizabeth II lays among the flowers at a memorial site in Green Park near Buckingham Palace following the death of the queen on September 11, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 11: A photograph of Queen Elizabeth II lays among the flowers at a memorial site in Green Park near Buckingham Palace following the death of the queen on September 11, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As the country prepares for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, her historic 70-year reign has been celebrated and remembered by people all over the world. Mourners have lined the streets to pay their respectstributes have poured in from celebrities, and the media has been dominated with breaking news of this significant moment in history. But not everyone feels the same way about the Queen’s passing.

As the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, much of the coverage of the Queen’s death has surrounded her commitment, duty, and dignity. But for some people of colour, her passing stirs up memories of a painful past and present. The royal family is an institution inextricably linked to colonialism and slavery. Much of the British Empire was built on imperialism, and so people of colour and commonwealth nations are having to process complicated responses to the monarchy.

Rising discourse on social media has divided communities. Some have argued that this is the time to speak out about ways the royal family have exploited and oppressed countries throughout history, while others believe it’s insensitive to do so. Yet, is there really ever a “good” time to have difficult conversations around the way the royals have profited from colonialism?

Even so, feelings are, naturally, nuanced. Not only are there divisions within communities, but amongst generations. Some have found older people of colour in the same family to have compartmentalised aspects of the past, holding the royal family to unrealistic standards of perfection, while younger generations are more engaged in the racial discrimination embedded in British history.

While the media coverage can feel whitewashed during this time, three Black women spoke to POPSUGAR about how they are processing the death of the Queen and what can be learnt from her reign.

“The media is a powerful tool, but they aren’t reporting on the Queen’s legacy in a balanced and accurate manner.”

Olayinka Ewuola, a business coach and strategist, thinks now is the time to acknowledge the past and learn. She says, “The news of the Queen’s death is somewhat conflicting – she was a well-loved woman who is survived by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, but people have been negatively affected by Britain’s colonial and racist past. I grew up in a time when both the monarch and the Prime Minister at the time were female, and that left an indelible mark in shaping what I thought was possible for women.”

“The media is a powerful tool, but they aren’t reporting on the Queen’s legacy in a balanced and accurate manner. While I’m not denying she was remarkable in her sense of duty and service, she represented an institution that caused people a lot of pain and suffering. The media need to use their power to open up on much-needed conversations about the legacy of colonisation. In order to create a better future, it’s important to acknowledge and learn from it. I’m not in mourning, but I’m respectful of those who are. If I’ve learned one thing from the Queen’s legacy, it’s the importance of being a person who lives according to their values as that will be the bedrock of the legacy we leave behind. Surely this means people of colour have the right to focus conversations around their values and past, too?”

“Her death has served as a reminder of how divided we are as a country.”

Haddy Folivi is a publicist whose mum appreciated the Royals, yet her feelings are more removed. She tells us, “My mother loved the royal family, and I have fond memories of her watching them on TV as well as going to Trooping the Colour as a kid. I don’t agree with a lot of what they represent, but I have learned to separate the negative and focus on the positive. It is sad that she’s passed away, but the news has not affected me on a deep level. As for the media, they are going into overdrive, and it’s knocked some really important issues off the agenda: the death of Chris Kaba at the hands of police, for example. Although I’m a publicist, I have a love-hate relationship with the media at times. Collectively, we’ve had a tough few years, and we are exhausted.”

“I’m not mourning for the Queen. I can’t mourn for someone I never knew. Her death has served as a reminder of how divided we are as a country. I have seen some vile comments on social media, which in my opinion, are uncalled for. Rejoicing at someone’s passing is not a nice thing to do.”

“I only find myself mourning for . . . the change the Queen could have inspired during her reign.”

Iman Gatti is an author, empowerment coach, and certified grief recovery specialist. She feels let down by the missed opportunities for reparations. She explains, “As a first generation Canadian, the part the monarchy has played in my life has often felt conflicting. I have witnessed the duality of people idolising and demonising the royal family. Princess Diana was the only royal who had a profound impact on me – she represented a vulnerability and humanness that is so often missing in people of influence. I can’t help but feel disheartened by the way the Queen wasted so much of her privilege. She could have done a lot for BIPOC and marginalised people in her 70 years on the throne, yet she did not.”

“I don’t have any traditions around the royal family, but I am saddened to think that I might never again witness a woman rise to such a powerful position in my lifetime. Most of the media coverage is very on brand for the royal family. I only find myself mourning for the hopes and dreams that will never come to fruition and the change the Queen could have inspired during her reign. I’ve learned that how you use your platforms and position matters, and while we appreciate traditions, I think it’s high time we make equity, diversity, and reparations fit for royalty.”