ALAIN JOCARD / AFP
Prince George after the funeral of his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Monday September 19.
FUNERAL OF ELIZABETH II – Everyone was there. Heads of state, members of the British government, children (King Charles III, Princess Anne, Duke of York and Prince Edward), grandchildren (Princes William and Harry), and great -grandchildren: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and… Prince Louis? Well no. The youngest of the royal siblings, from the height of his 4 years, was absent from the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, this Monday, September 19.
According to the Anglo-Saxon press, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge believed that Prince Louis was too young to attend such a solemn event. The latter had also not attended the funeral of his great-grandfather, Prince Philip. On the other hand, he was widely illustrated for his happy faces during the jubilee of the queen, last June.
A drawing, a candle or a note
For the psychologist-therapist for children and adolescents Catherine Verdier, however, there is not really a minimum age required to attend a funeral. “During meditations or in church, they have a place and can even play a role in these moments: they can leave a drawing, a candle, say a little word. It may even matter; they see that we have the right to cry, that they can allow themselves to do so”she explains to the HuffPost.
Contacted by the site magic momclinical psychologist specializing in parenting, Laurie Eghissian, adds that the presence of the child at a funeral can be useful if the parent “feels it would help him in the grieving process”.
Catherine Verdier, on the other hand, fully understands the absence of Prince Louis at this ceremony: “We ask so much of them. A 4-year-old child does not have to last two hours in such solemn conditions”.
No cemetery for 6 or 7 years
According to the specialist, it is especially when it comes to going to the cemetery or the crematorium that the question must be asked whether or not to take a child. “It’s often difficult and raw, he absolutely has to want to go there. There is no question of forcing him to do so”, she believes. And this, only from the age of 6 or 7 – except in very special cases, when it comes to the parent for example.
It is from this age, she continues, that children “ask questions about death: – What is there after? What do we become? – but also on birth, and this may be an opportunity to respond to it”.
Be careful, however, not to incite a child who would be “hypersensitive, or who really doesn’t want to go. Some have real anxieties about death.warns Catherine Verdier.
Preparing the child
If you take your child, whether to the ceremony or to the cemetery, it is still important to prepare him for what awaits him. “You have to explain what is going to happen, announce the death of the deceased, explain why in certain cases, describe what you are going to do to honor his memory”, explains the psychologist. This stage can be difficult when one is already personally touched by the loss of the deceased, in this case one should not hesitate to ask another member of the family to deal with it.
On the side of the royal family, the children live in any case this loss in their own way. If Prince George really seems to be aware of the death of his great-grandmother, Prince Louis asks questions like: “Do you think we’ll still be able to play those games when we go to Balmoral, because she won’t be there anymore?” » Prince Louis is now the fourth direct heir to the British crown, behind his father Prince William, and his siblings George and Charlotte.
See also on The HuffPost: Funeral of Elizabeth II: UK observes two minutes of silence