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Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest grandson James, Viscount Severn, joined his cousins as they paid their respects to the late monarch on Saturday.
James, who is the 14-year-old son of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, took part in a 15-minute silent family vigil at the Queen’s state in Westminster Hall.
The vigil was attended by the Queen’s seven other grandchildren, including James’ sister Lady Louise, 18, and cousins Prince William, 40, Prince Harry, 38, Peter Phillips , 44, Zara Tindall, 41, Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie. 32.
The teenager looked solemn as he stood guard beside his late grandmother’s coffin with his head bowed. Their parents, Edward and Sophie, were also in attendance as they watched their two sons keep watch from an observation deck.
LIVE UPDATES: QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN STATE, PRINCE WILLIAM, PRINCE HARRY HOLD VIGIL
Along with his male cousins, James wore commemorative medals given to them by the Queen. She placed her 2012 diamond and 2022 platinum medals on the front of her black dress.
The family vigil was witnessed by members of the public, who had waited in a 16-hour queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth, who died aged 96 on September 8.
Mourners continued past the royal family as they stood guard over the Queen’s coffin until the vigil ended at 6.15pm.
Hello! The magazine reported that the Wessexes decided to attend the grandchildren’s vigil to support their teenage sons, who are relatively younger than their cousins.
Sophie, who shared a close relationship with Queen Elizabeth, was pictured teary-eyed as she watched the ceremony.
It was a rare public appearance for James, who mostly stays out of the spotlight. Of her decision to attend the vigil with her cousins, a royal source told People magazine that “the grandchildren, at the King’s invitation, are very keen to pay their respects.”
Aside from attending major royal events with their parents, James and Louise lead relatively private lives. Edward and Sophie refused to give their children prince and princess titles, although they can choose to use them after the age of 18.
According to a 1917 decree issued by King George V, the children and grandchildren of a reigning sovereign are automatically entitled to the titles of prince or princess and HRH (Her Royal Highness).
The Countess of Wessex explained her and Edward’s decision not to give their children titles in a 2020 interview with the Times of London.
“We try to bring them up with the understanding that they’re very likely going to have to work for a living,” he said. “That’s why we made the decision not to use RHS degrees. They have them and they may decide to use them from 18, but I think that’s very unlikely.”
At 14, James is close to the age Prince William and Prince Harry were when they walked behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, during her funeral on September 6, 1997. William was 15 at the time years and Harry 12.
In a 2017 BBC documentary, William described taking part in the funeral procession from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, that walk”.
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The Prince of Wales continued: “It felt like she [Diana] He was almost walking beside us to get through it.”
On Thursday, William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales, greeted well-wishers outside Sandringham as they viewed floral tributes left by members of the public.
Grieving Jane Wells told the Telegraph that William had shared his thoughts on joining the Queen’s funeral procession on Thursday.
“He said how hard yesterday was and how it reminded him of his mother’s funeral,” Wells said.
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After the procession, William attended a service in honor of the Queen at Westminster Hall along with Harry, King Charles, Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family. James, Louise and other royal cousins were also present.