The Duchess of Cambridge will be attending her first televised royal funeral as the Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest.
Kate is just days away from passing her first decade as a member of the royal family, with her 10th wedding anniversary to the Duke of Cambridge on April 29.
But the duchess has yet to experience the challenge of grieving for a family member with the world watching.
The royal family is not known for its demonstrative displays of emotion while on a public stage.
William’s former university flatmate turned future Queen adapted to her royal role with ease after her wedding, and has attended many solemn memorials and commemorations, including Remembrance Sunday events and a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan.
The duchess, 39, will be able to sit with William to support him, in keeping with Covid-19 regulations, because they are from the same household.
But the proceedings will be a royal funeral like no other for all those attending – with Windsors from different households having to sit two metres apart as they socially distance, including the Queen who will sit alone, with all guests wearing face masks and forbidden from singing under coronavirus rules.
Taking part in the procession in the grounds will bring back some memories of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales for William, who was just 15 when he walked behind his mother’s coffin through central London after her death in a car crash in 1997.
He also processed behind the Queen Mother’s cortege in 2002.
William has spoken of the kindness his grandfather Philip showed to Kate.
“I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her,” he said in tribute.
The Cambridges have had a difficult past year, dealing with the fallout from Megxit and the Sussexes’ subsequent Oprah interview.
William has had an ongoing rift with Harry, and Meghan said Kate made her cry in the run-up to her wedding in a disagreement over flower girl dresses, and that the palace failed to correct reports it was the other way round.
William and Kate’s young children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will not be at the funeral, with guests limited to just 30 because of the pandemic.
A number of royal newcomers will be present. Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie’s husband, officially joined the family in 2018, while Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Beatrice’s husband, wed the princess last summer.
Both Eugenie and her cousin Zara Tindall have only recently given birth and will be dealing with the challenges having a new baby brings.
Eugenie’s son August is only nine weeks old and Zara’s third child Lucas was born just three-and-a-half weeks ago.