The tears of Edward and Sophie of Wessex at the funeral of Elizabeth II

Prince Edward could not hold back his tears during the funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Abbey, September 19, 2022. An emotion shared by his wife Sophie who considered the late sovereign as her second mother

He struggled to control his emotions. The pain was too strong for Prince Edward to crack under the weight of grief. Dressed in the white gloves of his Honorary Royal Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry uniform, he wiped tears from his eyes. By his side, his wife Sophie, who was also overcome with emotion, carefully took out a handkerchief.

On September 19, 2022, two thousand people gathered at Westminster Abbey for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. A final tribute from around the world to one who reigned for more than seventy years in the United Kingdom, the kingdoms and the Commonwealth.

An “unimaginable void”

Seated in the front row, the couple faced the coffin of the deceased sovereign which was covered with the royal standard and on which was placed the Imperial State Crown, the ghost and the globe. The loss of their mother and mother-in-law was great for Edward and Sophie of Wessex, as well as their two children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, who succeeded them.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022. © Agency / Bestimage

The serious face, the drawn features, the Earl and Countess of Wessex remain dignified despite their pain and support their loved ones in this time of mourning. Before the ceremony began, Sophie placed a comforting hand on Prince George’s shoulder as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin entered the Abbey. The nine-year-old boy attended his first royal funeral with his sister Princess Charlotte.

The one at Westminster Abbey also revived Wessex’s memory of Prince Philip and the tribute paid to him there in March. In a year and a half, Prince Edward and his wife said goodbye to two people who counted most of their lives in recent decades.

On September 16, the youngest son of Elizabeth II published a press release in which he evoked the “unimaginable void” left by the death of the queen. “Sophie and I have enjoyed seeing James and Louis enjoying the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much. Lady Louise has definitely inherited her attraction to driving from her grandfather Prince Philip. Much appreciated these happy memories spent with his mother’s companion, the Earl of Wessex wished “long life to the king”, his elder King Charles III.

Edward and Sophie of Wessex are very close to Queen Elizabeth, here at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2022.
Edward and Sophie of Wessex are very close to Queen Elizabeth, here at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2022. © Dana Press / Bestimage

Like the entire royal family, the past two weeks have been particularly trying for the Earl and Countess of Wessex. On September 10, 2022, just two days after the death of Elizabeth II, the couple were together with their loved ones during a mass in memory of the sovereign at Balmoral in Scotland.

Eyes red, kneeling in front of bouquets of flowers placed before the castle gates, Sophie de Wessex seemed particularly affected by the loss of the queen who considered her her “second daughter”. Once again, the sister-in-law of King Charles III was filled with emotion during the vigil of Queen Elizabeth’s eight grandchildren at Westminster Hall on September 17. Surrounded by their cousins, her two children, Louise and James, paid tribute to their beloved grandmother.

Sophie and Edward of Wessex at Westminster Hall, September 17, 2022.
Sophie and Edward of Wessex at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2022, during a vigil for Elizabeth II’s grandchildren. © Aaron Chown/PA Wire

At 5pm French time, a second mass will take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor where the late sovereign will be laid to rest with his parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, his sister Princess Margaret and her husband Prince Philip. Edward and Sophie de Wessex will take part in this final farewell which promises to be particularly moving.

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