All eyes were on the Royal Family at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II funeral, expected to be the world’s most-watched television programme.
People have been perusing the guest list with interest – you can read the list here and here you’ll find a list of the Welsh people who were in the congregation – while eagle-eyed viewers have been trying to identify as many members of the congregation as possible.
Whilst King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Forfar are easily recognisable, there was one more person in the front row, standing in military uniform between Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, that fewer people seem to have recognised. That person was Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the second husband of Princess Anne.
Vice Admiral Laurence, 67, is a retired Royal Navy officer. He served from 1973 to 2011 and was appointed equerry to the Queen – an officer of the British royal household – in 1986. During his time serving the Queen, he met and fell in love with Princess Anne, marrying her in 1992, the same year her divorce from her first husband Captain Mark Phillips was finalised.
Vice Admiral Laurence is also known for holding the command of Chief Executive of the Defence Estates from 2008 to 2010 and over the years, he has made several public appearances, including joining Princess Anne at state engagements such as her Royal tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Queen is said to have thought very highly of the Vice Admiral and even broke with tradition to allow him to stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Trooping the Colour. At the time, the Palace said that an exception was made for Sir Tim “as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements,” the Manchester Evening News reports.
Following Her Majesty’s funeral, the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carried Her Majesty’s coffin out of Westminster Hall. King Charles III and the Queen Consort followed behind, followed by Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince George of Wales and Princess Charlotte of Wales.