Queen Consort aide Sophie Densham joins Camilla ahead of procession

Camilla’s right-hand woman: Queen Consort is joined by her private secretary of more than a decade as she arrives to take part in the Queen’s funeral procession

  • The Queen Consort’s aide joined Camilla as the Queen’s coffin was conveyed to Westminster Hall today
  • Sophie Densham has worked as Queen Consort Camilla’s private secretary for more than a decade
  • She is considered a safe pair of hands and an essential part of the King and Queen Consort’s inner circle
  • The Queen is being moved to the Palace of Westminster this afternoon where she will lie in state until Monday
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

The Queen Consort was joined by her right-hand woman today as she arrived at the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace today.

Camilla was driven through the streets of London as she travelled to the palace, and was accompanied by her private secretary Sophie Densham.

The aide is considered a safe pair of hands and a key player in the tight-knit group of aides likely to continue to support the new King and Queen Consort.

Ms Densham has been in Camilla’s service for more than a decade.

Ms Densham started her career as a secretary at the Memorial Gates Trust, a charity to ensure remembrance of people from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who served in the two World Wars. 

The Memorial Gates themselves were unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen in 2002.

She then joined the Royal household and moved to the then-Duchess of Cornwall’s private office in 2008. She was made her private secretary in 2021.  

The Queen Consort arrived at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon, dressed in black and wearing a hat and accompanied by her private secretary Sophie Densham

Ms Densham has been Camilla’s Private Secretary for more than a decade and is considered a key part of the royal aide make-up

Like her peers in the current royal household, Densham was present at the proclamation ceremony earlier this week, which saw her employer become Queen Consort. 

She joined the Queen Consort ahead of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin being taken to Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace to lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday.

Charles, William and Harry – along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex – followed the coffin on foot as it makes its 38-minute journey in front of thousands of mourners lining the streets in central London.

The occasion is heavy with historical significance and also saw brothers Prince William and Prince Harry set aside their ongoing feud to support their father by marching with him behind the coffin. 

The Earl of Snowdon followed behind with the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips, Princess Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester. 

Her Majesty’s coffin will lie in state in Westminster Hall under its ancient hammer-beam roof.

The aide is thought to be an essential part of the tight-knit group of aides likely to continue to support the new King and Queen Consort (pictured in 2010) 

The near 1,000-year-old building is where her father King George VI lay in state in 1952 and where the public could pass the coffin of her mother, the Queen Mother, in 2002. 

Her Majesty’s closed coffin will be placed on a catafalque – a raised platform, covered in the Royal Standard with the orb and sceptre placed on top. 

Members of the royal family including King Charles III, The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will follow the Queen’s coffin on foot during the move through London today.

Sophie, the Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales Kate Middleton will follow the procession in a car as it passed thousands of mourners who had come to pay their respects.

King Charles III waves to the crowds as he is driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace this morning

Queen Consort Camilla is seen arriving at Buckingham Palace this afternoon ahead of the procession for the Queen

Princess Eugenie leaves Clarence House on the way to Buckingham Palace for today’s procession to Westminster Hall 

Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi arrive at Buckingham Palace this afternoon

A general view along The Mall in London today as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will be taken in procession

This is the last time the Queen’s body will be moved before her funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey. 

After the ceremony, it will be taken to her final resting place, her beloved Windsor Castle. 

More than one million people are expected to queue in central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her casket – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed. 

Well-wishers will begin filing past the coffin to mark the start of four-and-half days of the Queen lying in state. 

The Life Guard dismounted detachment of the Household Cavalry and the Dismounted detachment of the Blues and Royals are seen entering the gates of Buckingham Palace ahead of the procession for Queen Elizabeth II this afternoon

The Household Cavalry head along the Mall ahead of the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin to Westminster today

Members of the Coldstream Guards leave Wellington Barracks in London today ahead of the ceremonial procession

The Life Guard dismounted detachment of the Household Cavalry are seen entering the gates of Buckingham Palace today

A round-the-clock vigil will be mounted under the catafalque by officers of the Household Division, the King’s Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the King’s Body Guard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers and the King’s Body Guard the Yeomen of the Guard.

It will remain open 24 hours a day until at 6.30am on Monday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets to pay their respects to the Queen.

The queue is expected to stretch for five miles, taking up to 30 hours to reach the front.  

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