Prince William says walking behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin brought back memories of Princess Diana's funeral

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Prince William and Kate, the Princess of Wales, made a trip to Norfolk, England, Thursday to view tributes left to Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

William and Kate viewed floral tributes left by the public outside Sandringham Estate, the queen's Norfolk retreat, where she and family members regularly spent time, including a decades-long tradition of gathering there for Christmas.

A reporter on the scene who spoke to a woman who met William Thursday said the prince told her the death of his grandmother has brought back memories of the death of his own mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales.

William and his brother Prince Harry walked in a procession behind Diana's coffin after her death on Aug. 31, 1997, following a car crash in Paris.

On Wednesday, almost exactly 25 years later, William and Harry walked in a procession behind the queen's coffin as it was moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

"He told us yesterday had been particularly difficult and following the coffin had reminded him of his mother’s funeral, of Diana," said Jane Wells, who had come to lay flowers for the queen at Sandringham. “He said it had been very difficult.”

Wells continued, "I said, 'Your mother would be so proud of you and thank you for sharing your grief with us,' and he said, ‘I’m learning that she was everyone’s grandmother, the way people have reacted.'"

PHOTO: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service on Sept. 6, 1997, in London. (Adam Butler/PA Images via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service on Sept. 6, 1997, in London. (Adam Butler/PA Images via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry march during a procession where the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state, in London, Sept. 14, 2022. (Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters)
PHOTO: William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry march during a procession where the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state, in London, Sept. 14, 2022. (Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters)

Another person in the crowd told William she was close to tears, to which he replied, according to reports, “Don’t cry now. You’ll start me.”

William and Kate viewed an overflowing tribute of flowers for the queen outside the gates of Sandringham, which is located close to their own country home, Anmer Hall, where they spend down 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 drop earrings that belonged to the queen.

PHOTO: Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales view floral tributes at Sandringham on Sept. 15, 2022 in King's Lynn, England.  (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales view floral tributes at Sandringham on Sept. 15, 2022 in King's Lynn, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Catherine, Princess of Wales views floral tributes at Sandringham on Sept. 15, 2022 in King's Lynn, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Catherine, Princess of Wales views floral tributes at Sandringham on Sept. 15, 2022 in King's Lynn, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Norfolk is located around 100 miles from Windsor, England, where William and Kate now have their primary home on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the queen also spent much of her time during her 70-year reign.

PHOTO: Prince William and the Princess of Wales view floral tributes to late Queen Elizabeth II left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk, Sept. 15, 2022. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
PHOTO: Prince William and the Princess of Wales view floral tributes to late Queen Elizabeth II left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk, Sept. 15, 2022. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

In the 24 hours since the queen's coffin was moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, thousands of people have lined up in London to pay their respects to Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

PHOTO: Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Westminster, London, Sept. 15, 2022. (Yui Mok/Pool via Reuters)
PHOTO: Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Westminster, London, Sept. 15, 2022. (Yui Mok/Pool via Reuters)

The queen's coffin will lie in state at Westminster Hall until her funeral on Sept. 19, at Westminster Abbey.

Tributes like those William and Kate viewed at Sandringham have grown across the U.K. in the week since the queen's death.

The queen's daughter Anne, the Princess Royal, traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, to view tributes left to the queen and to meet with representatives of organizations of which the queen was patron.

PHOTO: Princess Anne, the Princess Royal greets members of the public during a visit to Glasgow City Chambers to meet representatives of organizations of which Queen Elizabeth II was Patron, in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 15, 2022. (John Linton/PA via AP)
PHOTO: Princess Anne, the Princess Royal greets members of the public during a visit to Glasgow City Chambers to meet representatives of organizations of which Queen Elizabeth II was Patron, in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 15, 2022. (John Linton/PA via AP)

Anne traveled with her mother's coffin earlier this week on its journey from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the queen died, to London.

MORE: How Kate, Meghan honored Queen Elizabeth II with jewelry

Prince Edward, the queen's youngest child, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent time Thursday in Manchester, England, where they viewed tributes left at St. Ann's Square and met with community members.

PHOTO: Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, meet members of the public outside Manchester's Central Library, during a visit to the city, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in Manchester, England, Sept. 15, 2022. (Peter Byrne/Pool Photo via AP)
PHOTO: Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, meet members of the public outside Manchester's Central Library, during a visit to the city, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in Manchester, England, Sept. 15, 2022. (Peter Byrne/Pool Photo via AP)

Members of the royal family and invited guests will gather on Monday for a final goodbye to the queen.

Her state funeral is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time Monday at Westminster Abbey, making the queen the first sovereign to have a funeral there since 1760.

Prince William says walking behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin brought back memories of Princess Diana's funeral originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com