The Only Person Who Walked In Funeral Processions For Both King George And Queen Elizabeth

All eyes were on Westminster Abbey on September 19, as the long public mourning period for Queen Elizabeth came to its conclusion. Millions watched as the monarch's family — including the unexpected appearance of royals Prince George and Princess Charlotte – walked in solemn procession behind the flag and flower draped coffin. The order of the march was carefully chosen and choreographed, per TIME. First came King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla (we're still getting used to saying that), followed by his younger siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. The queen's grandchildren were also part of the ceremony, including the two well-known princes who put aside their differences in a show of unity for their adored grandmother. (Will the funeral be a turning point for William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry? Only time will tell.)

Another notable member of the procession was the queen's first cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. The queen's and the duke's fathers were brothers: King George VI and Prince George, respectively. (Confused by all the Georges? Per Brit Royals, the king's actual first name was Albert; he opted to use his fourth name when he took the throne). As if that weren't close enough of a connection, the duke is also a second cousin to Prince Philip, the queen's beloved husband, via Wales Online. His mother, Princess Marina of Greece, was Philip's first cousin.

Although Prince Edward attracted less media attention than his famous cousins, his very presence at the queen's funeral made history.

The Duke of Kent had a special connection with the queen

Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, had the unique but sad distinction of being part of two historical funerals. In addition to attending the ceremony for his cousin Queen Elizabeth, he also walked in the procession for her father, King George VI, back in 1952 (via People). Only 16 at the time, the young duke had already suffered the loss of his own father. When he was only 8, his father, Prince George, was killed in combat in World War II (via Brit Royals). Perhaps their mutual grief helped bond the royal cousins.

The duke has no real claim to the throne, as he currently is 40th in line. However, according to Hello!, he often represented the queen at official engagements. He also held the honor of being at her side at Buckingham Palace this past summer during the traditional Trooping the Colour salute. (Unlike other royals who wore blue for the parade, Edward wore his military uniform). 

Another similarity between the two cousins is their commitment to service. At 86, the duke "is involved with 140 different charities, organizations and professional bodies," boasts the royal website, and he shows no sign of slowing his pace. One of his most cherished causes is preserving the memory of all the service personnel who gave their lives in the two world wars. As president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, he frequently travels to see the 22,000 memorials established across the British Commonwealth countries.