KATE Middleton has paid tribute to Sarah Everard today at Clapham Common.
The Duchess of Cambridge was among tearful mourners who gathered at the spot the 33-year-old was last seen as vigils were cancelled across the UK.
A palace source said today: "The Duchess wanted to pay her respects to Sarah and her family.
"She remembers what it felt like to walk around London at night before she got married."
A further 31 vigils for Sarah were also due to take place at 6pm in cities across the UK – including Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Belfast and Cardiff.
But the Met Police moved to ban the event due to Covid restrictions with other forces following suit.
Campaign group Reclaim These Streets mounted a High Court challenge on Thursday but the High Court upheld the police's decision to block the event – forcing organisers to cancel vigils across the UK.
Despite the ban, a small, socially-distanced group lay flowers at the bandstand in Clapham Common this afternoon in moving scenes.
Some mourners were seen in tears as they gathered to pay tribute to the marketing manager, who vanished on March 3.
There was also police present in London as people gathered to pay their respects.
It comes after Reclaim the Streets slammed the police after revealing they were threatened with a £10,000 fine under Covid laws if the events went ahead.
They also accused cops of being "unwilling to engage" and are now urging people to "shine a light" in a doorstep vigil at 9.30pm.
The campaign group said it would be joining people across the country and "shining a light – a candle, a torch, a phone – to remember Sarah Everard and all the women affected by and lost to violence".
A fundraising page they launched has already raised more than £240,000 for women's charities.
The Met Police today said they take "no joy"in the cancellation but insisted it was the "right thing to do".
And other police forces confirmed they were cancelled events across the UK.
Greater Manchester Police said they were "shocked and saddened" about Sarah's death but warned "gathering in large groups is still unlawful".
Merseyside Police thanked organisers for postponing a vigil due to be held in Liverpool city centre tonight.
In a tweet, the force said: "We would like to thank the organisers of the Reclaim These Streets vigil for postponing their event until a time when it is safe and legal to do so without fear of attributing to potential spread of the coronavirus."
But some people say they are still planning to attend the vigil for tragic Sarah, who vanished last Wednesday as she walked home.
Sarah's death has prompted an outpouring of grief from the public, with many women and girls sharing stories online of experiencing violence by men.
The vigils were designed to show that women should feel safe no matter the time of day.
More to follow…
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