Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, pays respects to Sarah Everard

The Duchess of Cambridge has joined thousands of mourners laying flowers for Sarah Everard in Clapham Common, in London.

Kate Middleton was among those visiting Clapham Common, laying flowers and paying her respects.

Kensington Palace said the Duchess “remembers what it was like to walk around London at night before she was married’ and “wanted to pay her respects to the family and to Sarah,” Sky reported.

Mourners said the Duchess looked “a bit upset” and “quite emotional” as she took time to stand in mourning for the 33-year-old murdered woman.

“We were just walking towards the bandstand and she was coming around the corner away from it. She looked a bit upset. She looked quite emotional. She was just on her own. About 10 metres behind her there were two people following her. It wasn’t obvious she had security with her,” Rhiannon Pithers said, quoted by the Daily Telegraph.

Footage shows Kate laying flowers and taking a few seconds to stand in silence in front of the memorial for the woman.

The Duchess’s visit is thought to have been timed to avoid the large numbers who might have turned out.

However, palace sources told the Daily Telegraph that “the timing wasn’t specifically planned – she did it privately”.

A “Reclaim These Streets” vigil was due to be held tonight (UK time) but was cancelled because of Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Still, mourners have been leaving flowers and cards in Clapham, to honour Everard, whose body was found in woodland in Kent earlier this week.

Everard disappeared on March 3, while walking home from visiting a friend.

A London police officer, Constable Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday, charged with her abduction and murder.

Wearing a grey jumper and surrounded by two police officers, Couzens sat with his head in his hands as the court heard how Everard’s body had to be identified by dental records.

He spoke only once, to confirm his name, date of birth and address, and has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance on March 16.

“Mr Couzens, I am sending your case to the crown court sitting at the Central Criminal Court, what you might know as the Old Bailey,” Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring said.

“You will appear there for your first appearance on the 16th of March,” he added.

“I don’t have the power to consider the question of bail. That will be considered should you wish to make an application to the court on the 16th of March.

“You are therefore remanded in custody until that date, both charges having been sent to the crown court.”

The Crown Prosecution Service, rather than the police as it is the norm, announced the charges against the London officer.

Couzens joined the Met in September 2018 and worked on a response team in Bromley, South East London.

He was then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command on in February last year, to patrol embassies in the capital.

Family issues heartbreaking statement

Sarah Everard left a friend’s home in the evening of March 3, to start a 50-minute walk back to her own flat in Brixton.

At about 9.30pm, she was seen on CCTV in Clapham, after spending 15 minutes talking to her boyfriend on the phone.

Her body was found in woodland in Kent, last Wednesday, after a frantic search in ponds and other areas.

Her family has paid tribute to their “bright and beautiful daughter and sister”.

In a statement, they said she was “a wonderful” woman.

“She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all.

“We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.”

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