‘It’s the things you don’t expect’: Prince William praises Paddington Bear tributes to Queen

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Prince William admitted he got “choked up” after seeing the Paddington Bear tributes to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In his first engagement since her death earlier this month, the Prince of Wales met volunteers and staff who worked on the events surrounding the state funeral.

William told a member of the logistics team that “certain moments catch you out” as they spoke about the last few days, PA reported.

“If you flip it on its head, it is always very comforting that so many people care,” he said. “It makes it a lot better.

“There are certain moments that catch you out. You are prepared for all, but certain moments catch you out.”

He added: “It is the things you don’t expect that get to you.”

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”.

William and his wife, Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, met St John Ambulance volunteers, council workers, stewards, crown estate staff and logistics teams at Windsor Guildhall on Thursday.

The vice-lord lieutenant, Graham Barker, and Windsor council’s lead royal funeral planner, Andrew Scott, introduced them to staff and volunteers who supported the crowds.

The royal couple also spoke to members of the crown estate who helped to organise the floral tributes in Windsor about the number of flowers left by members of the public.

The prince thanked the team for their work, 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, 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.

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.”