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Sophie embraces well-wisher as she and Edward meet crowds in Manchester

The Princess of Wales told a well-wisher she would burst into tears if she read too many sympathy cards as she and William met crowds at Sandringham today – while other senior royals fanned out across the UK to join a nation mourning their late Queen.  

With King Charles III enjoying a much-deserved rest at his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, the rest of his family took up the mantle – with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, hugging mourners in Manchester and Princess Anne visiting Glasgow. 

Fran Morgan, 62, spoke to Kate as she and William inspected the sea of flowers outside Sandringham. Recalling their conservation, Mrs Morgan said: ‘She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said ”I can’t read them all or I would cry”.’ 

William was also heard telling a mourner he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the outpouring of support.  

One visitor who missed the entire visit was three-month old Eddie Shakespeare who fell asleep just as the Royal couple arrived. His mother Maisie, 27, from Cambridgeshire, said: ‘I was going to wake him up and show him to Kate, but I didn’t have the heart. She thanked me for coming and said that all the sympathy meant a lot to her and William. I’m glad I came, but as for Eddie, I’ll just have to tell him about it when he’s older!’

In Manchester, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, met Josh, a young mourner who was waiting to see her with his mother, Sue. Recounting the moment they met, Sue said: ‘She just said ”nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?” Then Josh said ”can I have a hug?”. They hugged, then he asked for a photo. The bouquet is signed from Josh but it’s got my name on it as well.’

Asked what the moment felt like, Josh – who is non-verbal – replied: ‘Happy.’ 

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, the Princess Royal chatted to crowds outside Glasgow City Chambers. Handed a bouquet by a young girl, she said: ‘They’re not for me are they?’ to which the girl replied, ‘They’re for you’. Anne, clearly touched, took the flowers and thanked her. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales inspecting flowers left by well-wishers outside Sandringham in Norfolk this afternoon  

Kate chats to a member of the crowd who had gathered to meet her and Prince William outside Sandringham in Norfolk

Kate chats to a member of the crowd who had gathered to meet her and Prince William outside Sandringham in Norfolk 

A small baby looks on with a look of concern as the Princess of Wales chats with people in the crowd at Sandringham

A small baby looks on with a look of concern as the Princess of Wales chats with people in the crowd at Sandringham 

Kate points to something in the distance - as a young girl copies her - during her walkabout in Norfolk this afternoon

Kate points to something in the distance – as a young girl copies her – during her walkabout in Norfolk this afternoon 

There were lots of young children in the crowd at Sandringham, with Kate taking special care to chat to them

There were lots of young children in the crowd at Sandringham, with Kate taking special care to chat to them 

Kate laughs with people who had gathered to meet her and William in Norfolk as the royals travelled across the country to meet well-wishers

Kate laughs with people who had gathered to meet her and William in Norfolk as the royals travelled across the country to meet well-wishers 

Kate chatting to mourners while carrying several bouquets of flowers. Hundreds have piled up at the estate in recent days

Kate chatting to mourners while carrying several bouquets of flowers. Hundreds have piled up at the estate in recent days 

The Princess of Wales, carrying a bouquet, guides a young girl over to where she can leave a stuffed corgi toy

The Princess of Wales, carrying a bouquet, guides a young girl over to where she can leave a stuffed corgi toy 

Today, the Princess of Wales told a well-wisher she would burst into tears if she read too many sympathy cards

Today, the Princess of Wales told a well-wisher she would burst into tears if she read too many sympathy cards

In Manchester, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex , met Josh, a young mourner who had gathered in Manchester with his mother, Sue

In Manchester, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex , met Josh, a young mourner who had gathered in Manchester with his mother, Sue

Recounting the moment they met, Sue said: 'She just said ''nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?'' Then Josh said ''can I have a hug?''. They hugged, then he asked for a photo'

Recounting the moment they met, Sue said: ‘She just said ”nice to meet you, do you want me to take your flowers?” Then Josh said ”can I have a hug?”. They hugged, then he asked for a photo’ 

The Prince and Princess of Wales chatted to the huge crowds who had gathered outside Sandringham House in Norfolk

The Prince and Princess of Wales chatted to the huge crowds who had gathered outside Sandringham House in Norfolk

Kate leans in while chatting to a member of the public who had gathered outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk today

Kate leans in while chatting to a member of the public who had gathered outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk today 

A woman wipes away tears at William speaks to well-wishers outside Sandringham

A woman wipes away tears at William speaks to well-wishers outside Sandringham 

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive to view floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive to view floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House

The royal couple spent a few minutes inspecting the vast piles of flowers that had been left outside the royal residence

The royal couple spent a few minutes inspecting the vast piles of flowers that had been left outside the royal residence 

Thousand of flowers, toys and cards have been left outside Sandringham House in recent days

Thousand of flowers, toys and cards have been left outside Sandringham House in recent days 

Kate reaches out to take another bouquet of flowers to leave by the gates of Sandringham

Kate reaches out to take another bouquet of flowers to leave by the gates of Sandringham 

The Prince and Princess of Wales spoke to several of the 1,000 or so people who gathered to greet them outside the Queen’s Norfolk estate, with William telling one member of the crowd he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the outpouring of support.  

Mourners have been paying their respects outside the estate’s ornate Norwich Gates around the clock since the Queen’s death last Thursday, and have left thousands of bouquets, cards and gifts. 

Queen’s funeral ‘to be a fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign’  

The Queen’s state funeral will “unite people across the globe and resonate with people of all faiths” and pay a “fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign”, the man in charge of the historic occasion has said.

The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, described the task as “both humbling and daunting. An honour and a great responsibility”.

Two thousand people including world leaders and foreign royals will gather inside Westminster Abbey in London on Monday for the final farewell to the nation’s longest reigning monarch.

Some 800 people, including members of the Queen’s Household and Windsor estate staff, will attend the committal service afterwards at 4pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Further details of the ceremony and the next five days were released by Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will be interred with the Duke of Edinburgh in King George VI’s Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in a private service at 7.30pm on Monday.

But the burial service conducted by the Dean of Windsor and attended by the King and royals will remain entirely private, as a “deeply personal family occasion”.

The King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will mount a 15-minute vigil around the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state at 7.30pm on Friday.

After the funeral, the King and members of the royal family will walk behind the Queen’s coffin to Wellington Arch when it leaves Westminster Abbey, before it is driven to Windsor on the state hearse.

The earl said: “The events of recent days are a reminder of the strength of our Constitution, a system of government, which in so many ways is the envy of the world.’

The Victorian mansion is close to the Prince and Princess’s country retreat at Anmer Hall.

Also among the 20-deep crowd at Sandringham was retired shop owner Jeffery Malzer, 67, and his wife Ruth, 63, who had travelled 4,000 miles from Milwaukee. 

‘My grandfather served here in the USAF in the war and when we heard of the Queen’s death we knew we had to come,’ he told MailOnline. 

‘People in the States love the Queen and it means a lot to us to be here. At least now I’ll be able to say I’ve seen the next King of England.’  

There was a brief moment of drama as the Royals worked their way along the line of people when an elderly woman collapsed in the crowd behind.

Paramaedics and police vehicles had to gently push their way through the throng to track her, but she appeared to recover after treatment.

To a final round of applause the couple left shortly after 1.15pm. 

It comes as thousands of people continue to queue in line to pay their respects to the Queen in Westminster Hall, a sight the Archbishop of Canterbury described as ‘one of the most moving parts of the week’.

Justin Welby shook hands and posed for selfies with dozens of people who were waiting to view the Queen lying in state, and performed a blessing on a 10-year-old girl.

Among those to view the Queen’s coffin were Theresa May and Tanni-Grey Thompson. 

By 10am today, the queue leading up to Westminster Hall was around three miles long and stretched past London Bridge to HMS Belfast.

Before greeting those in line at The Victoria Tower Gardens in central London, the Archbishop said he was not at all surprised by the turnout and remembered the Queen as someone whose ‘wisdom was remarkable’.

He said: ‘She was someone you could trust totally, completely and absolutely, whose wisdom was remarkable, whose experience – I was the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury who she would have known – who really understood things and who prayed.’

Mr Welby also told reporters that seeing thousands of people flood to pay their respects had been ‘one of the most moving parts of this week’.

‘In one sense, the people here stand for all those in the country who would like to be here and can’t be,’ he said.

‘I think it shows a sense of deep affection for the stability that the Queen represented and gave us.’

Mr Welby added that he was ‘not in the least’ worried about a period of change under a new monarch and a new Prime Minister.

‘I’m very, very relaxed about that,’ he said.

‘His Majesty the King is deeply committed to sticking with the constitution, and it’s very clear that the shift happened seamlessly.

‘The strength of the way this country works is seen by the fact we lost both the prime minister and the monarch in a week and government just goes on.’

The Archbishop spoke to police officers and stewards who were manning the queue and paused to perform a blessing on 10-year-old Eva Garcia, who was in line with her father. 

Mourners have been arriving at the site, close to the Prince and Princess's country retreat at Anmer Hall, around the clock since Buckingham Palace announced the Queen's death last Thursday

Mourners have been arriving at the site, close to the Prince and Princess’s country retreat at Anmer Hall, around the clock since Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s death last Thursday 

Prince Edward speaks to huge crowds of well-wishers as he and the Countess of Wessex make a visit to Manchester

Prince Edward speaks to huge crowds of well-wishers as he and the Countess of Wessex make a visit to Manchester 

Eva, whose family are Anglican and moved to London from the US two weeks ago, told PA the moment was ‘very special’ to her.

Her father, Juan Garcia, 41, added: ‘Eva is our oldest and it was really amazing.

‘To have a leader of the church pray for your child in that way, I was very emotional.’

Retired nurse Alex Swinburne, 58, said she had been queuing since 4.20am and meeting the Archbishop had been a ‘spiritual moment’.

‘It was very special,’ she said.

‘The Queen represented the church, so I think it’s very important that they’re being represented here.

‘It felt like a spiritual moment before you go in at this stage, when we’ve all been queueing for so long.’

Christina Watson, 67, who used a walking stick and travelled from Sunderland to pay her respects to the Queen, said meeting the Archbishop was something she would remember for the rest of her life.

This morning, more than 1.3 million people logged on to watch the queue-tracker for the line.

The largely black-clad crowd were solemn and pensive as they flowed into the ancient hall where chandeliers and spotlights illuminated the scene beneath the medieval timber roof.

As hundreds of ordinary people of all ages filed past the coffin of the long-reigning monarch, many wiped their eyes with tissues.

Some bowed, some curtsied and some simply took a moment to look at the extraordinary scene. 

Sophie receives sunflowers from a crowd member standing behind a metal barrier draped in a Union flag

Sophie receives sunflowers from a crowd member standing behind a metal barrier draped in a Union flag 

Former prime minister Theresa May and her husband Philip were among those paying their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall.

Yvonne Joseph, 57, and Curlette Edwards, 61, from London joined well-wishers at 8am on Thursday morning. 

‘It didn’t take that long, about 45 minutes to an hour,’ they said. ‘We went through the accessibility queue, it’s for people with disabilities that are seen and unseen. It was a totally separate queue. Everything ran in order. 

‘When we arrived we were fortunate to see the Changing of the Guard so we have an extra moment to pay our respects to the Queen.

‘We wanted to come and pay our respects because it’s just a historic moment, the Queen is like a mother and a grandmother to all of us.’

Neil Miller, 58, from Buckinghamshire, said that he wanted to pay his respects, as he has ‘watched the Queen’s speech ever year of my life at 3pm on Christmas Day’. 

‘She has done a great job for the country, and I wanted to come and pay my respects and say thank you,’ he said. ‘At 6.55am this morning, I joined the back of the queue and it’s been fine. Lots of banter and talk. I was told 10 hours I would be in the queue.’ 

Esbil Wong, 70, is from South Africa and was visiting her son in the UK when she heard news of the Queen’s death. 

She said she came to pay her respects because ‘I have been following her all my life.’ 

She said: ‘We are really honoured, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to be part of history. I love her.’  

-Ms Wong said she joined the queue at around 7am and had been queuing for about three hours so far. 

Rosalind Devlin, 59, a Navy wren, said: ‘It was one of the greatest moments of my life, we’re all ex-forces so to be able to pay our last respects to the Queen was a privilege.

‘It was exhausting but ultimately very rewarding. It was well worth waiting eight hours for.’

Yesterday the first people in the queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state ate pizza brought by the Archbishop of York after camping overnight and waiting hours to be granted access to Westminster Hall, where the fallen monarch will remain until 6.30am on Monday.

Their wait totalled 50 hours, after some arrived as early as Monday in order to maintain a place in the queue. They were chatting to their neighbours, making friends, sharing squashed egg sandwiches and cups of tepid tea. 

The coffin continues to be guarded at all hours by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

Metropolitan Police officers, volunteers and stewards are managing the queue while toilets and water fountains are provided at various points along the route.

People waiting in line are also being given a coloured and numbered wristband to manage the queue. One mourner, Alan Davies, has been handing out biscuits to others queuing around him.

He said: ‘I got here around four and made sure to bring some supplies, I knew some people had been waiting far longer than I have, but it is moving fairly quickly. It’s the best example of how much the Queen meant to us all, queuing in the British weather, rain or sun, for days. Just to say one final goodbye.’ 

The queue could reach ten miles by Saturday night, with officials planning to implement three miles of airport-style zigzag lines in parks at the beginning and end of the seven-mile planned route.

The Queen: All you need to know following her passing and a look back at her 70-year reign

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk