12 Ways The Royals Honored Queen Elizabeth Since Her Passing

Though she was advancing in age, it still came as a shock when Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022. For anyone under the age of 70 — which is the bulk of the Commonwealth — they simply hadn't known another monarch other than Elizabeth, and her influence both in the United Kingdom and worldwide was immensely felt. 

After her husband, Prince Philip, died in April 2021, the queen appeared to take on fewer and fewer public duties. The image of her sitting at his funeral, masked and alone in the pews, still haunts many of us to this day, and it seemed as though time was ready to reunite the pair. When she did pass shortly after it was announced that her health was declining, Elizabeth had been on the throne for seven decades and had firmly solidified her place in world history — and to no surprise, tributes came flooding in.

Naturally, King Charles III — who became the ruling monarch immediately following his mother's death — released a statement about her life, legacy, and impact on him both as a son and as a ruler. His tribute was followed by many other official statements, and time has certainly not slowed down the royal family's efforts of keeping the queen's memory alive. From jewelry choices to holiday celebrations to a year of firsts — the first Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, following her death — the members of the Firm are doing what they can to honor her.

King Charles III quickly paid tribute to his mother shortly after her death

When Queen Elizabeth II died, she was 96 years old. She had seen decade after decade of international change, and to say that she was a worldwide staple is a significant understatement. She was, by all accounts, someone that we all thought would be around forever — when her passing came, King Charles III immediately spoke to her legacy, her worldwide impact, and the sadness he faced as a son losing a mother and as a member of the Commonwealth losing his queen.

"I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow," the newly-minted king started, addressing the Commonwealth shortly after the queen died. "Throughout her life, Her Majesty the queen, my beloved mother, was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example." He continued, " Queen Elizabeth's was a life well lived, a promise of destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service, I renew to all today."

Carrying on to thank the citizens of the United Kingdom for their unwavering support in the immediate aftermath of the queen's passing, Charles expressed his sense of gratitude, further pointing to the international mourning that followed his mother's death.

Princess Catherine commented on the queen's impact during this amazing sight

If Great Britain has been known for two things, it's Queen Elizabeth II and the rainy weather. It almost always seems to be pouring in the United Kingdom, with the grey sky very seldom breaking for a patch of blue. When the queen died in September 2022, mourners quickly gathered outside of Buckingham Palace, leaving tributes and honoring her memory. Just as they did, the clouds broke and a double rainbow was cast over the palace grounds. Those who gathered quickly took to social media with pictures of the site, certainly pointing to a rather spiritual aspect of the queen's passing.

Such a natural display wasn't a singular occurrence, either. On September 18, 2022 — the day before Elizabeth's funeral — yet another rainbow appearance over the Palace of Westminster. It just so happened that the queen's coffin was lying in state there at the time. A coincidence, perhaps? Princess Catherine didn't think so. While speaking with volunteers who helped organize the queen's committal service, Prince William was overheard asking, "In Scotland, how many rainbows turned up? You hardly ever see rainbows up there, but there were five." Catherine simply responded, "Her Majesty was looking down on us." If that isn't enough to give you the chills, we don't know what is.

Princess Anne honored her mother in the most touching way following her death

Of all the royal family members, it seems as though no one comes close to Princess Anne's level of commitment. She has frequently been named the hardest working royal, and her no-fuss attitude has often been her defining characteristic. Amid her mother's death, however, the public saw a much softer side of Anne — one that displayed emotion in public and mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. In a touching tribute that honored her mother in a uniquely profound way, Anne accompanied her mother's coffin as it left Balmoral Castle — where the queen died — and proceeded to be loaded onto a plane back to London. Anne released a statement as she guarded the queen's casket, paying tribute to the monarch's life and legacy.

"I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother's life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys," Anne said in her statement. "Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting. We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss."

Paying her respects to her brother, who was assuming the responsibilities of the crown at that very moment, Anne concluded her tribute with a poignant remark. "To my mother, The Queen, thank you."

Princess Catherine honored the queen with the first Christmas service after her passing

The year of firsts is always difficult after losing a loved one. For the royal family, they not only mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, but as did the entire country of Great Britain. With that in mind, it's no wonder that Princess Catherine went to extra lengths to honor the late queen at Christmas. In charge of hosting the Royal Carols: Together At Christmas service held at Westminster Abbey, Catherine took to social media ahead of the event to share a special message with those watching, sharing that despite the collective loss felt across the country, the service would carry on with new meaning.

"This year we've invited hundreds of inspiring individuals to the service. Those who showcase the power of connectedness and community values, allowing us to continue Her Majesty's tradition of recognizing and thanking those who have gone above and beyond to support others," she said. "Her Majesty leaves with us an incredible legacy, and one that has deeply inspired many of us." The newly named Princess of Wales concluded that the service would be not only dedicated to Elizabeth, but to "those who are sadly no longer with us." The post was meant with a chorus of praise, certainly proving that Catherine is the royal family's shining star.

Prince William paid tribute to his grandmother during his first speech as Prince of Wales

Though many guessed the title would eventually be passed onto him, Prince William officially adopted the Prince of Wales title after Queen Elizabeth II's passing. As King Charles III assumed the throne, his well-used title of Prince of Wales was up for grabs, and he bestowed it on William and his wife, Princess Catherine, with Catherine being the first person to use the title publicly since the late Diana Spencer. The distinction was an incredible full circle moment, and in his first speech as the Prince of Wales, William was adamant in paying tribute to his grandmother. While speaking at the United for Wildlife event as part of the Royal Foundation, William not only spoke about the environment — a cause close to his heart — but about his late family members, too.

"Our natural world is one of our greatest assets. It is a lesson I learnt from a young age, from my father and grandfather, both committed naturalists in their own right, and also from my much-missed grandmother, who cared so much for the natural world," William said during the event. "In times of loss, it is a comfort to honor those we miss through the work we do. I take great comfort then from the progress we are making to end the illegal wildlife trade." William has continued to put environmentalism at the forefront of his role as the Prince of Wales.

Sarah Ferguson honored the queen by adopting her beloved dogs

One of the most well-known aspects of Queen Elizabeth II's character was her love of corgis. Elizabeth not only loved the dog breed, but sourced many of her dogs from the same genetic line, making her beloved furry pets related. When she passed in September 2022, the internet's biggest question was, "Who is going to take care of the corgis?" Sarah Ferguson — who had bonded with the queen's dogs already — took on the responsibility. While speaking to The Telegraph, Fergie gave a desired update about the dogs, reassuring the world that the queen's corgis were being well attended to. "They all balance out," Fergie said of the two corgis owned by Elizabeth as well as her five Norfolk terriers she already had, before calling the queen's dogs "national treasures. "The carpet moves as I move, but I've got used to it now," she concluded.

Fergie may not have been the most obvious choice, but a source told Entertainment Tonight after the queen's death that Fergie was actually the one who found Elizabeth's latest corgis. The two women also bonded due to their love of dogs. "It was the duchess who found the puppies which were gifted to Her Majesty by the duke," the source explained. "The duchess bonded with Her Majesty over dog walking and riding horses and even after her divorce, she would continue her great friendship with Her Majesty, by walking the dogs together and chatting."

The king honored his mother during this important inaugural speech

Any British household will tell you that there are certain traditions that are adhered to at Christmas. The day essentially revolves around food, there is English sausage in just about everything, Christmas crackers are a must, and everyone has to pile into the living room to watch Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas Day speech. Of course, 2022 marked the first year that Elizabeth was no longer alive to give her well-received address to the nation, marking a significant shift in many households. Taking his mother's place, King Charles III maintained the tradition and gave his first Christmas speech just three months after his mother's passing — in doing so, he kept her memory alive and honored her in the process.

"I am standing here in this exquisite Chapel of St. George at Windsor Castle, so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father," the newly-named king began in his 2022 address, going on to thank all the people of the Commonwealth who sent him and Camilla, Queen Consort, letters, messages, and cards following the queen's death. "I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family. Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition."

Prince Harry paid a special tribute to his grandmother following her passing

Many of the royal family members' tributes to Queen Elizabeth II were heartfelt but, in classic royal form, incredibly formal. Prince Harry's statement about his grandmother, on the other hand, included his signature cheekiness that only a member of the family who's on the outside of the Firm's reach could get away with. Remembering his "Granny," Harry's tribute honored the queen's under-reported sense of humor, her dedication to the crown, and her reunited love with Prince Philip.

"We are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty," Harry said, before turning his words to address the queen directly. "Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."

When Prince Philip died, the queen released a statement of her own, writing at the time, "Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings." In perhaps the most touching part of his tribute to her following her death, Harry wrote of the queen — evoking her own words uttered just a year prior — "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings."

Sarah Ferguson called the late queen her real 'mother' in a 2023 appearance

When Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson got divorced back in the 1990s, it certainly wouldn't have been surprising if Fergie ended her relationships with the members of the royal family as well. However, she was able to maintain her bond with Queen Elizabeth II over the years, and the two became quite close. In fact, during an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" in March 2023, Fergie honored the queen once more and revealed just how tightly knit her relationship with the late monarch was.

"The other day I was walking along and there was a big picture of the queen and I actually thought she was looking at me," Fergie told the hosts, before explaining how her complex relationship with her own mother impacted the closeness she shared with the queen. "[We were] very close. I put it like she was more my mother than my mother because Mum went to run off with a very good-looking Argentine when I was about 14, and that's when the queen [was first] in my life because [of] polo and things like that. Then, she became my mother-in-law [after I married Andrew] and she was always there with that wonderful hand, that you could never see, behind your back. It was the support, that's what the nation felt [and] that's what the world felt."

Meghan Markle honored the queen in such a way that she went viral

In the two years that Meghan Markle was a working royal following her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, she and Queen Elizabeth II didn't share many one-on-one moments. Given how things unfolded between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm, it would be easy to think that Meghan wasn't all too impacted by the monarch's passing. Quite the contrary: When she and Harry returned to London for the queen's funeral, her respect was on full display, as was her grief. Photos of Meghan shedding a single tear quickly did the rounds, and it was her incredible final curtsy to Elizabeth that got the internet talking.

In fact, one video of the curtsy posting on TikTok garnered more than one million views in the first 72 hours of it being live, and has 1.8 million views as publication. The video's caption read, "The Duchess of Sussex performed the highest act of deference to her queen," relating to Meghan's curtsy on the day in question, and the comments expressed a certain level of gratitude and respect for her public display of honor. Throughout the course of her time as a royal, Meghan only publicly curtsied to the queen five times, once being at the Christmas Day service in 2017, and another being at her 2018 wedding to Harry. This one, however, served as an instant, public display of respect — and the world took notice.

Prince Edward shared a touching tribute to his mom shortly after her death

Of all of Queen Elizabeth II's children, Prince Edward, her youngest, certainly had a more loving relationship with his mother. Unlike King Charles III who spent his whole life up until his mother's death as heir, Edward is far from the throne. Thus, he could enjoy a relationship with the queen that was less about service to the crown and more about their bond. When the queen did pass, Edward released a touching statement about his mom, reveling in their shared appreciation for one another and honoring her role both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

"As a family, we have grown up learning to share our parents, especially our beloved mama, with the Nation, her Realms and the Commonwealth," Edward said at the time. "While it has been lovely to have spent time saying our own farewell privately at Balmoral, it is now time to allow others to be able to say their farewell."

Turning his attention to the collective mourning shared by Great Britain, Edward further shared, "We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us. ... Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means."

Queen Camilla honored Elizabeth with her brooch choice at the 2023 Commonwealth celebration

One of the more high-profile events that the royals attend every year is the Commonwealth Day celebrations. The day in question has given royal watchers plenty of interactions to observe over the years, and 2023's event was no exception. The first since Queen Elizabeth II's passing, the royals made sure to honor her throughout the event, and Camilla, Queen Consort, did so through her jewelry choice.

It's not uncommon to see Camilla, Princess Catherine, or Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wear jewelry once belonging to the monarch, borrowed from the late queen, or once owned by the late Diana Spencer. For Commonwealth Day, Camilla opted for a sapphire and diamond brooch that belonged to Elizabeth, letting the piece shine against her blue Fiona Clare coat. The brooch in question is called the Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch, and dates back to the late 1800s. It includes 18 diamonds and 10 sapphires, and is said to be worth about $680,000.

"Wearing this brooch today is a poignant choice from Camilla as it's the first time that the event has taken place since the Queen's death in September," Maxwell Stone of Steven Stone Jewelers told Page Six. The queen consort paired the entire look with a Philip Treacy hat, black gloves, and a fashionable clutch.