The Public Tribute To The Queen That Made Prince William Choke Up

Mourning a much-loved family member is difficult enough when you're a mere commoner, but the British royal family has had the doubly wrenching task of grieving Queen Elizabeth II while still maintaining a public presence. Everyone from King Charles III to the queen's great-grandchildren made at least one public appearance during the 10-day national mourning period, and then took part in the queen's funeral, which drew a record-breaking 4.1 billion viewers

Most notable of all, of course, was the day when William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, joined Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on a walkabout of the Windsor Castle grounds. Keeping their composure, the "Fab Four" took time to admire the stunning display of flowers, toys, notes, and other tributes that had been laid about the scene. (The flowers will eventually be collected and composted, according to the BBC.)

The group also greeted the crowd of people who had gathered to pay their respects. They chatted, laughed, and thanked everyone for their heartwarming expressions of sympathy. Still, Prince William did have a moment or two when he found it hard to keep his feelings in check. William got emotional when talking about Princess Diana with a mourner, saying, "Don't cry now — you'll start me" (via Twitter). Now, we're learning that there was another sight that moved the prince unexpectedly: a famous little friend who's better known for inspiring laughs, not tears.

William, Prince of Wales, got teary at the sight of Paddington Bear

On the Thursday after the queen's funeral, William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, came to thank the many volunteers and staff who organized his grandmother's committal service at St. George's Chapel. According to the Daily Mail, the royal family is technically not doing official business until September 26, but they are making exceptions in order to express their gratitude to service members and others who helped the queen's funeral run smoothly.

Despite their grief, the couple graciously talked and laughed with the group; the princess even asked them how they were doing emotionally. However, William got real for a moment when he spoke of being moved by the sight of the flowers and mementos on the Windsor Palace walkabout. "It's the things you don't expect that get you," he admitted (per The Mirror). "Paddington got me quite choked up." He was referring, of course, to the Paddington Bear moment of the queen's Platinum Jubilee. Just before the Platinum Party concert, the monarch herself made a surprise appearance in a video with the iconic bear. In a nod to that memorable night, many fans laid Paddington toys and drawings among the floral display.

The prince then joked that "the Corgis and Paddington were in competition, at loggerheads" for the right to be the symbol of the queen. However, since "the corgis have been there longer," he hinted that Pad hasn't won the popularity contest yet.