Prince of Wales admits he got 'choked up' over Paddington Bear tributes to the Queen
As he met volunteers and workers who helped during events surrounding the Queen's committal service in Windsor on Monday, Prince William also joked about there being a new "competition" between Paddington Bear and the corgis.
Thursday 22 September 2022 21:22, UK
The Prince of Wales has admitted he got "choked up" seeing the Paddington Bear tributes left for the Queen.
Prince William was meeting volunteers and staff who helped during events surrounding the Queen's committal service in Windsor, and confessed: "It is the things you don't expect that get to you."
Along with his wife, the Princess of Wales, he met about 30 people at the Berkshire town's Guildhall on Thursday afternoon and thanked them for their efforts supporting the crowds after Monday's state funeral.
Vice Lord Lieutenant Graham Barker and Windsor council's lead royal funeral planner, Andrew Scott, introduced them to St John Ambulance volunteers, council workers, stewards, Crown Estate staff and logistics teams.
And William told one of them that "certain moments catch you out" as they spoke about the last few days.
The royal said: "If you flip it on its head, it is always very comforting that so many people care."
"It makes it a lot better," he said, before adding that he got "choked up" over the Paddington bears, pictures and tributes he had seen.
Speaking later to council workers, William also joked about there being a new "competition" between Paddington Bear and the corgis.
He said Paddington is "a new addition" but "the corgis have been there for longer".
In a much-loved TV sketch during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, Elizabeth II had tea at Buckingham Palace with the popular children's character.
William and Kate, who wore black as they continued to observe the royal mourning period, also spoke to members of the Crown Estate, who helped with the vast tributes of flowers which were left by the public outside Windsor Castle.
The heir to the throne described the colours as "amazing", with Kate adding: "The spotlight was on Windsor, and it looked incredible, so well done."
The prince thanked the team for their dedication, saying people "don't see all the hard work that goes into it", before adding: "We appreciate all the hours you have put in."
When the Crown Estate staff thanked the pair for coming to say thank you, Kate said: "It's the least we could do. We should have been volunteering."
They also spoke to a group of Royal Borough ambassadors, and the princess asked if many people in the crowds were locals. The ambassadors told her that people in the crowd had turned up from all over the world.
"It's amazing how many people wanted to come and pay their respects," the princess said.
Prince William said later: "It's been a busy few days, but you guys have been doing long hours as well, so thank you so much."
Speaking to the transport workers who helped to organise road closures and car parks, he said: "We were quite worried that with everyone coming here it would shut down the whole town, but it kept moving."
Kate added: "We were grateful we could still get the children to and from school."
The engagement was one of William's first since he became the heir apparent and became known as the Prince of Wales - with Kate as the Princess of Wales - after the death of his grandmother and the accession of his father, Charles.
Other royals were also undertaking engagements on Thursday to thank people involved in the Queen's funeral and to recognise the service of those on deployment overseas.
The Earl of Wessex was visiting Estonia and Germany in his role as Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion of The Rifles and Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
The Princess Royal travelled to Portsmouth Naval Base to meet Royal Navy personnel who took part in the funeral procession, and then to St Omer Barracks, Aldershot, to thank those who provided logistical support during the funeral.