We cannot imagine how heartbroken the royal family must be right now, especially those who never got to say their final goodbyes.
After Buckingham Palace revealed that doctors were “concerned” about Queen Elizabeth’s health on Thursday, many royal family members, including Prince William, rushed to Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be by her side before her death. Unfortunately, as we’ve since learned, Prince Harry did not make it in time to see his grandmother again, despite being in London to attend the WellChild Awards. Meanwhile, his wife Meghan Markle opted not to travel with him for an unknown reason — though royal expert Duncan Larcombe speculated to The Daily Beast:
“She may have made a very sensible decision not to intrude on the family’s grief. But it is at least a possibility that Charles asked her not to.”
But another important family member oddly was not in attendance for Her Majesty’s final moments: Kate Middleton. While no doubt it must have been heartbreaking for the Duchess of Cambridge to not be with her husband during this time, she decided not to go for a very specific reason — she needed to take care of their three children.
Kate reportedly remained in Windsor to see Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis off for their first day of school at Lambrook School. In August, she and William announced their three kiddos would be at a new school after their family moved to Windsor from London. So understandably, the nerves must have been running high for the little ones on their first day somewhere new. Nannies can do a lot, but they aren’t mommies.
While we’re sure Catherine — now the Duchess of Cornwall in addition to being the Duchess of Cambridge — would have wanted to say goodbye to Will’s grandmother one last time, but in the end she still had to choose family, just in another way.
Unfortunately, this ended up being more than just a health scare. Kate never got another chance to say goodbye. The Palace announced in a statement on Thursday evening:
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Prince Charles — now known as King Charles III — released his first message to the public as monarch, mourning the loss of his mother:
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.”
So, so sad… So many loved ones didn’t get to see Elizabeth one last time.
[Image via MEGA/WENN]