The Sweet Words Kate Middleton Said To Princess Charlotte At Prince Philip's Memorial

Although Prince George and Princess Charlotte are growing up in the spotlight, they still need some reassurance from their parents now and then. Both children accompanied Prince William and Kate Middleton to the memorial service honoring the late Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in London. The Service of Thanksgiving was carefully planned by Queen Elizabeth, and was a way to honor Philip's many years of charitable service, according to Sky News.

George and Charlotte were unable to attend their great-grandfather's funeral last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Philip's memory has been held dear by the entire family. "I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humor," William wrote on Instagram shortly after Philip's passing.

With the children on their Easter break from school, per People, George and Charlotte were able to come to the memorial (their younger brother, Prince Louis, was too young to attend). As they walked into the church, George held hands with his father, while Charlotte stayed close to her mom, who was dressed in a polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich, a hat by Lock & Co Hatters, and pearl drop earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana (via Page Six). And while they strolled past photographers hand in hand, Kate noticed her daughter needed some guidance.

Kate Middleton told her daughter she didn't have to look sad

The memorial service was a chance for some of Prince Philip's wishes for his funeral to be fulfilled that couldn't happen during the actual funeral because of COVID restrictions (per People). Although they were attending a memorial service for Prince Philip, Kate Middleton assured her daughter, Princess Charlotte, that she didn't have to be so somber. Cameras caught the Duchess of Cambridge telling Charlotte, "You can smile," as confirmed by lip reader Jacqui Press (via the Daily Mail). After the reassurance from mom, the most relatable royal gave a smile as they walked into the Abbey.

Upon entering, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children greeted the awaiting clergy including the Archbishop of Canterbury in what is apparently the royal kids' first time facing a formal handshake lineup. Fans were particularly impressed by Charlotte's poise and composure (per GoodToKnow). Charlotte also had a sweet and relatable reaction before the service started when she saw a camera pointed at their pew.

Prince George joined his sister and parents at the memorial, where he and his father, Prince William, were coordinated in blue suits and ties. Some of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's other great-grandchildren were also in attendance, including Zara and Mike Tindall's daughter, Mia, and Peter Phillips' children, Savannah and Isla, per People. Many in the royal family, including the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall wore green as a subtle nod to Prince Philip, whose official livery was a dark green.

Princess Charlotte and Princess Beatrice shared smiles during the service

Having Queen Elizabeth in attendance at the memorial was not a foregone conclusion, considering her recent health concerns, including having been diagnosed with COVID-19 in February and facing mobility problems (via ABC News). She also surprised many, not by her presence, but who she came with. She was escorted by Prince Andrew, her son who recently settled a sexual assault lawsuit (via People). And while the Queen is usually fairly stoic in public, she shed a few tears during the service as did Prince Charles, and Prince Philip's granddaughter Princess Beatrice had to compose herself after breaking into tears (per Mirror). It wasn't all tears though; Beatrice and Princess Charlotte shared a sweet smile during a hymn (via Twitter).

Noticeably absent from the event were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who chose not to attend due to security concerns. A source told Us Weekly that although Harry would like to return to Great Britain with his family, especially in the hopes that his children, Archie and Lilibet, could meet their cousins, the source said, "...that will only happen if the government takes the appropriate measures to protect his family." Harry was present at Prince Philip's funeral a year ago as one of just 30 attendees, due to COVID-19 restrictions (via People). Some royal experts fear that in missing the memorial, the reported rift between Prince Harry and the rest of the royal family will only widen, according to Marie Claire.

Nevertheless, the humanizing moments like what we saw from Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte were beautiful.