Kate Middleton Makes Private Visit to Memorial for Sarah Everard: 'She Wanted to Pay Her Respects'


Kate Middleton visited a memorial for Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman whose remains were found on Friday, over a week after she disappeared in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, made a private visit on Saturday to the memorial in Clapham Common, an area near Everard's home in Brixton, where she was seen walking before her disappearance on March 3.

"She wanted to pay her respects to Sarah and her family," a royal source tells PEOPLE. "She remembers what it felt like to walk around London at night."  

During her visit, Kate was seen leaving flowers at the memorial, according to The Mirror.

Everard disappeared on March 3 while walking home, prompting police to launch an extensive search. Then on Friday, police confirmed that remains found over 50 miles from where she was last seen belonged to Everard, according to CNN. 

The Metropolitan Police have since announced that a "serving police constable" has been charged in court "with the kidnap and murder of" Everard.

The officer, Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday for his first hearing. His next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. 

"A woman, aged in her 30s, who was arrested at the same time as Couzens on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April," authorities added in their statement, noting that the investigation into Everard's death is still ongoing. 

Everard's death has also prompted many women to share their stories about fearing for themselves when walking at night.

Although a vigil was originally scheduled to be held in Clapham Common on Saturday night, the event has since been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. "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 added. "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."

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As Roper's statement continued, she implored "women and allies across London to find a safe alternative way to express their views."

After the vigil was canceled, a fundraiser was organized by Reclaim These Streets. 

As of Saturday afternoon, the group reached its goal of raising £320,000 (around $445,000), which will be donated to women's causes.

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