Kate Middleton is one of thousands honoring the memory of late London woman Sarah Everard.
The Duchess of Cambridge made an unannounced appearance at a public vigil for Everard in Clapham Common, near the late 33-year-old’s Brixton residence on Saturday.
Everard’s remains were found on Friday more than a week after she disappeared while walking home. Metropolitan Police confirmed that serving constable Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with her kidnapping and murder. He made an in-custody appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday and his next hearing is scheduled for March 16, an online press release stated. The investigation is said to be ongoing.
According to Sky News, who broadcast footage of Kate’s memorial attendance, Kensington Palace said that the duchess “wanted to pay her respects to the family and to Sarah,” adding that she “remembers what it was like to walk around London at night before she was married.”
The duchess dressed casually for her solo visit in black slacks and a khaki coat. Additional reports cited that she left flowers during the somber outing.
Everard’s tragic death has sparked outrage across the UK, with many women coming forward on social media with their own stories of being harassed and assaulted on the street. The memorial was one of dozens of events planned for Saturday despite authorities’ warnings that they could violate COVID-19 restrictions. Britons were encouraged to instead light candles from their homes but protesters reportedly gathered in increasingly large crowds as the evening went on.
“Like everyone across London, I have been deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Sarah Everard. My heart goes out to her family, friends and everyone who had the joy to know her,” Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper said in a statement on Friday.
“No woman in London should be unsafe on London’s streets and I understand the strength of feeling that has grown following Sarah’s disappearance. As a woman and a police officer, I want nothing more than for women to feel safe and protected by the police,” she continued. “But we need to be clear. Our city is still in a battle with Covid-19 with people continuing to be infected and sadly losing their lives. Only a few weeks ago our NHS was at breaking point, we cannot risk undoing all the hard work to reduce the infection rate.”
The New York Times reports that Everard’s family described her as “a shining example to us all” who was “kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable.”
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