Prince William spoke of how he “choked up” over Paddington Bear tributes for Queen Elizabeth II during his first public appearance since the late monarch’s funeral on Monday.
Although the royal family is observing an extended mourning for the Queen until Monday, meaning no members of the family are expected to make official engagements, the Prince of Wales and his wife Princess Catherine visited Windsor’s Guidhall on Friday (NZ time).
The couple were meeting and thanking volunteers and staff who helped with the late Queen’s committal service, BBC reported.
Prince William reflected on his grief, and said “there are certain moments that catch you out. You are prepared for all, but certain moments catch you out”.
He also also told the staff he had “choked up” at Paddington Bear tributes, which were prompted by the late Queen starring in a special video in June, having tea with Paddington Bear for the Platinum Jubilee concert.
Following the news of the Queen’s death, Paddington Bear led the celebrity tributes to the late monarch, tweeting “thank you Ma’am, for everything.” Mourners were even asked to stop leaving Paddington Bears and marmalade sandwiches as tributes to the Queen, and were asked to only leave combustible flowers.
When speaking to council workers on Friday, Prince William joked about new competition between Paddington Bear and the corgis, although he said, “the corgis have been there longer”.
Princess Catherine also praised Windsor Castle staff who helped organise an estimated 100,000 floral tributes laid for the Queen.
“The spotlight was on Windsor and it looked incredible, so well done,” she said.
The Prince and Princess of Wales posted a video of the visit on Instagram on Friday, thanking everyone who worked “so tirelessly to ensure that everyone visiting Windsor over the past two weeks has had a safe and positive experience”.
”It was a pleasure to meet just a small number of staff and volunteers today – we are hugely grateful for all of your efforts.”