Kate Middleton privately visits memorial for London woman murdered

Kate Middleton privately visits memorial for London woman murdered

The Duchess of Cambridge made an unannounced visit in south London Saturday, to the memorial held for Sarah Everard, a 33-year old woman whose remains were discovered Friday.

Everard went missing after leaving a friend’s apartment around 9 p.m on March 3. She is believed to have been abducted and killed by a police officer who was charged Friday.

Kate Middleton, 39, visited the memorial set up for Everard in Clapham Common, a neighborhood near her home in Brixton, and where she was last spotted before her disappearance.

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

Middleton stopped in front of the memorial with other women paying tribute to Everard, whose case has captured international attention.

The murder of the 33-year old has forced many to take to social media to question why women continue to be threatened by predators, and share personal stories of attacks or their communal fears of violence when walking home at night.

“When she went missing, any woman who has ever walked home alone at night felt that grim, instinctive sense of recognition,” columnist Gaby Hinsliff wrote in The Guardian. “Footsteps on a dark street. Keys gripped between your fingers. There but for the grace of God.”

Constable Wayne Couzens, 48, a member of the London police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder.

He was set to appear in court Saturday.

Organizers planned a vigil in Everard’s memory Saturday, but due to coronavirus restrictions the ceremony was not permitted to be carried out.

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“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,” Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper said in a statement Friday. “As a woman and a police officer, I want nothing more than for women to feel safe and protected by the police.”

“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,” she added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.