A reporter on the scene who spoke to a woman William met on Thursday said the Prince told her that his grandmother’s death brought back memories of the death of his mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales.
William and his brother Prince Harry walked in a procession behind Diana’s coffin after her death on August 31, 1997, following a car accident in Paris.
“He told us that yesterday had been particularly difficult and that following the coffin reminded him of his mother’s funeral, of Diana,” said Jane Wells, who came to lay flowers for the Queen at Sandringham. “He said it had been very difficult.”
Wells continued, “I said, ‘Your mom would be so proud of you and thank you for sharing your grief with us,’ and he said, ‘I learn she was everyone’s grandmother, the way people have reacted.’ “
Another person in the crowd told William she was close to tears, to which he reportedly replied, “Don’t cry now. You start with me.”
William and Kate watched an overflowing floral tribute to the Queen outside the gates of Sandringham, which is close to their own mansion, Anmer Hall, where they spend time as a family with their three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte.
Kate is believed to have worn to Norfolk a pair of diamond and pearl earrings that belonged to the Queen.
Norfolk is about 100 miles from Windsor, England, where William and Kate now have their main residence in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the Queen also spent much of her time during her 70-year reign.
In the 24 hours since the Queen’s casket was moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, thousands of people in London have lined up to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
The Queen’s coffin will remain in state in Westminster Hall until her funeral on September 19 at Westminster Abbey.
Tributes like those watched William and Kate in Sandringham have grown in the UK in the week since the Queen’s death.
Anne traveled with her mother’s coffin earlier this week on her journey from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the Queen died, to London.
Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent time in Manchester, England, on Thursday, watching the tribute in St. Ann’s Square and meeting members of the community.
Her state funeral is scheduled to begin Monday at 11 a.m. local time at Westminster Abbey, making the Queen the first sovereign to have a funeral there since 1760.