Prince Edward explains why he doesn’t shake hands with crowds

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Prince Edward has explained why he doesn’t shake hands with mourners lining the streets before the Queen’s funeral.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex were met with cheers after surprising a crowd of mourners outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday afternoon by stepping outside to greet them.

The Queen’s youngest son could be seen speaking to members of the audience, sending out individual mourners who waited in the crowd to ask where they had come from.

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Many reached out to shake his hand, but Prince Edward seemed to prefer non-physical contact, such as waving.

He said to a mourner, ‘I would like to shake hands, but have you seen how many people are here? they would [my hands would] fall off!”

Another mob member claimed he told them, “I’ve tried to avoid it, just because if I do it once, I have to shake everyone’s hand.”

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex meets benefactors outside Buckingham Palace

(Getty Images)

The Earl of Wessex walked among the mourners, greeting as many as he could.

Meanwhile, his wife Sophie was a few steps behind, admiring homemade tributes to the Queen and thanking those who wanted to pay their respects. While collecting countless bouquets and stuffed animals, the Countess of Wessex at one point rocked a young child.

The couple repeatedly thanked the public for coming and Prince Edward said he believed his mother would “appreciate this fantastic support”.

In an official statement released Friday, the Earl and Countess of Wessex wrote: “We are overwhelmed by the wave of emotion that has washed over us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration. and respect for such a very special and unique person who was always there for us.

“And now we are here for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means.”