Candles outside St James's Palace

Public Mourning Continues - Royal Family "Deeply Touched"

The Royal Family have expressed their gratitude for the immense outpouring of public grief over the death of the Princess of Wales.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "All the Royal Family, especially the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry, are taking strength from the overwhelming support of the public, who are sharing their tremendous sense of loss and grief. They are deeply touched and enormously grateful."

Light drizzle and autumnal temperatures failed to dampen the resolve of mourners waiting patiently outside St James's Palace to sign the condolence books for the Princess of Wales.

For the third night, those queuing waited their turn, which Scotland Yard estimated could take at least six-and-a-half hours.
This family waited nine hours to leave their thoughts

The waiting time had been cut in half from the estimates of 24 hours earlier after Palace officials decided to increase the number of places for mourners to write their tributes from 15 to 43.

Throughout the night members of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service and the Salvation Army combined to provide support for people queuing along the Mall.

Salvation Army members have set up a tea stall where they were on hand to provide counselling for grief-stricken mourners.

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Rea said: "Some people come up and ask for a cup of tea when what they really want is to tell someone how they feel."

Buckingham Palace
Thousands of floral tributes at Buckingham Palace
WRVS volunteers had set up a refreshment stall, selling cost-price food and drink, which will be open around the clock until Saturday.

The masses of flowers and tributes laid at the front of the Palace continue to grow.

Beryl Mather and her family travelled all the way from Warrington, Cheshire to pay their last respects to the Princess.

The 69-year-old said: "I just loved her right from the beginning. I camped out overnight to go to Charles and Diana's wedding, so I just had to come here and lay some flowers. The tributes are unbelievable and show how much she was loved by everyone. Even heaven is going to be a better place once she is there."

Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, arrived at St James's Palace on Wednesday afternoon.

Later, after the Earl had left, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana's sister-in-law, visited St James's for two hours.