21 times the royals were moved to tears in public

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The British royal family are known for their cool, calm exteriors and traditional stiff upper lip. And in general, they’re a family with a lot to celebrate. Here at HELLO! we like to focus on all the happy occasions, but there are of course, as in all of our lives, more trying times. Take a look at the touching moments when our favourite royals, including European ones, showed they’re just like the rest of us, and they couldn’t help let their emotions get the better of them.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

The royal sisters were visibly moved as they heard from a grandmother who has kept the memory of her grandson alive by fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust during a joint Zoom call in July 2020. 

The pair listened as Enid Waterfall, 85, from Wrexham spoke about how she had been fundraising tirelessly for the charity, carrying on the work of her grandson Richard, who died in 2018 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects the bones or the tissues around them.

An emotional Eugenie said she was choked up while listening to Enid’s story, while Beatrice was spotted dabbing at her eyes, as Enid wiped away a tear. 

WATCH: Prince Harry is overcome with emotion at WellChild Awards 2019

In October 2019, the Duke of Sussex carried out a very poignant engagement – attending the WellChild Awards, which celebrates the inspirational qualities of seriously ill children and young people. Harry welled up as he gave a speech, reminiscing on how this time last year he and his wife Meghan were the only people to know that the Duchess was pregnant. Demonstrating how strong a parent’s love is, Harry said: “Last year when my wife and I attended we knew we were expecting our first child – no one else did at the time, but we did…”

Harry, overcome with emotion, trailed off, bent his head down and cleared his throat before continuing. Gaby Roslin was on hand to comfort the Duke, as he continued: “I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day, and more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time. And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heart strings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.”

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The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan was visibly emotional as she made a heartbreaking admission during her and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2020.

Meghan revealed that she had experienced suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy with Archie at the height of her crisis in the monarchy, telling Oprah: “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

While she had asked the palace to seek professional help, she later reached out to one of the best friends of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

MORE: 15 most surprising revelations from Prince Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview

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The Queen 

Her Majesty appeared to have been overcome with emotion at the Remembrance Sunday 2019 service, as she wiped away a tear, while paying tribute to war heroes. She watched the ceremony from the balcony of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office building, alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge. 

MORE: The Queen shares adorable new photo of great-grandchildren during Windsor audience

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The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother was spotted wiping away a tear during celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995. The Queen Mother’s late husband, King George VI, was monarch during the Second World War and the royals had stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace when victory was declared in Europe in 1945.

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Princess Charlotte

During the 2018 Trooping the Colour ceremony to celebrate the Queen's birthday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's daughter Princess Charlotte had a teary moment. The young royal slipped and fell, banging her head on the balcony railing. Kate, who was standing behind her then three-year-old, scooped her up into her arms and snuggled her close.

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Prince Charles

The future King looked visibly emotional as he carried out a poignant engagement at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in August 2020. Joined by his wife Camilla, the couple attended the VJ Day National Remembrance event.

Charles led a two-minute silence and laid a wreath at the Kwai Railway Memorial during the event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the day World War Two ended with Japan’s surrender.

MORE: When royals invite us inside their palatial homes – see the photos

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The Duchess of Sussex

In a lighthearted moment in 2018, it was joy and not sadness that caused Meghan to well up. During her visit to Tonga a newly-pregnant Meghan got the giggles when a group of school children sang a funny song to her and husband Prince Harry, about mosquitos. 

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The Duchess of Cambridge

When the Duchess of Cambridge attended a launch event for East Anglia Children’s Hospices charity in November 2014, she was seen welling up as she drove away from the engagement. Kate, who was four months pregnant with Princess Charlotte, had spoken to one attendee, Leigh Smith. The pair had corresponded after Leigh sadly lost her three-month-old baby Beatrice from a rare heart condition.

Kate replied to her letter and sought Leigh out during the launch event. Physiotherapist Leigh revealed: “Kate gave me a hug just before she left. I was getting quite teary-eyed, she had tears in her eyes and she just said to me, ‘You’re a very brave lady and again, I’m just so, so sorry.'”

Photo: © Rex

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Princess Diana

Some 22 years earlier, Princess Diana found herself in a similar situation when she visited Ashworth Hospice in Liverpool. The People's Princess, who was known for her incredible empathy, burst into tears as she left the emotional engagement.

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Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Proud mother Queen Mathilde fought back a tear as she watched her daughter Crown Princess Elisabeth deliver a speech in an official ceremony to mark her 18th birthday in Brussels. Elisabeth will become Belgium's first Queen by birth when she ascends the throne. 

Photo: © Rex

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The Duchess of Cornwall

Prince Charles' wife Camilla welled up during a visit to the Safelives Centre in London in January 2016. The Duchess spoke to victims of domestic abuse and heard from Diana Parkes, whose daughter Joanna Brown was murdered by husband Robert.

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The Queen

Remembrance Sunday is always a poignant event in the royal calendar, and in 2002, the Queen was overcome with emotion as she visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

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The Queen

The first time Her Majesty cried in public was in December 1997 when her beloved HMY Britannia was decommissioned. It was a rare sight for fans to see the normally stoic royal shed a tear. The Queen was saying goodbye to her luxury yacht, whose costs were too great to maintain. The ship had faithfully served the royal family for over 40 years.

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Princess Anne

Senior royals attended the decommissioning ceremony, including the Queen's daughter Princess Anne who also wiped away a tear.

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Prince George

Prince George was comforted by his mum Kate during a family day out at the polo in summer 2018. The little Prince was four at the time.

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Prince William

And in scenes similar to Kate and George, Prince William was comforted by his mum Princess Diana during a sports day in Richmond back in 1990.

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Princess Beatrice

A young Princess Beatrice burst into tears after her friend was refused entry to the Royal Box at the Royal Berkshire Polo Club in 1991.

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Queen Silvia of Sweden

An emotional mother-of-the-bride Queen Silvia of Sweden was brought to tears as she celebrated her beautiful daughter Crown Princess Victoria's wedding in June 2010.

Photo: © Rex

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Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands broke down in tears as she attended a memorial service in Apeldoorn to pay tribute to those killed or injured in the horrific Queen’s Day attack, which happened there the year before in April 2009.

Photo: © Rex

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Princess Josephine of Denmark

During the family’s summer photocall in 2013, Crown Princess Mary comforted her daughter Princess Josephine when it all got a bit too much for the two-year-old.

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