The nation had its heart warmed in a time of despair when they watched the Sussexes reunite with the Cambridges after years of reported in-fighting between the families.
However, royal sources last night insisted any thawing of relations would almost certainly be a “temporary truce”.
Brothers William and Harry and their wives Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton were reunited as they went on a walkabout to greet the well-wishers who had gathered in Windsor to pay their respects to the Queen following her death on Thursday.
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For 45 minutes, the two couples, for whom relations have been strained since Harry and Meghan's break from the Royal Family in January 2020, viewed the flowers outside Windsor Castle and walked among the crowds lining the streets, while shaking hands, accepting condolences and engaging in conversation.
But despite the show of unity, one royal source has expressed caution.
"There remains a great sense of distrust in the air and for that to dissipate there needs to be some major reconciliation on the part of those making the most noise," said the source.
“Until that is forthcoming, then there may be little point taking things any further.”
Nonetheless, the public display of unity was welcomed by fans. One said: “It was a single act of compassion due to extraordinary circumstances.
“Everyone is grieving and anything else right now pales into insignificance. Whether this could be a catalyst to anything more… well, I would find that exceedingly hard to believe unless there was a major shift in attitudes.”
Once referred to as the "Fab Four" because of their close bond, William and Kate were last seen in public with Harry and Meghan on Commonwealth Day in March 2020.
The Sussexes quit royal duty and relocated to Meghan’s native California amid a family fall-out that has festered for two-and-a-half years.
And the rift has played out very publicly and messily – with incidents including Harry and Meghan’s bombshell TV interview with US chat queen Oprah Winfrey.
But it looked as though the clock had been turned back on Saturday and there were cheers when the two couples emerged from a black Audi driven by William down Windsor Castle’s Long Walk.
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The new Prince and Princess of Wales thanked well-wishers who had travelled to pay their respects.
The Mirror reported that the outing came about after William extended an olive branch, deciding to contact his brother and invite him to take part in a public show of harmony in Her Majesty’s memory.
William and Kate, both 40, were expected to meet the public from 4.30pm but delayed their walkabout until 5.15pm to include Harry, 37, and Meghan, 41.
A source said: “The Prince of Wales thought it was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family.”
You can leave your tributes to Queen Elizabeth II here.
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