The Prince of Wales has said it will take “some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real”, as he paid tribute to the Queen in his first public statement since her death.
William, who has become heir to the throne after the accession of his father, King Charles, said the Queen was “by my side at my happiest moments” and “during the saddest days of my life”.
“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth was absolute,” the prince said in a statement.
“So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign.
“I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.”
He spoke also of the support and love that the Queen had for his wife and children over the last couple of decades.
“My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.
“I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.
“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honour her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.
Prince William was among the Privy Counsellors who met in London earlier on Saturday morning to declare King Charles III the new sovereign.
The ceremony, which dates back to Saxon times, saw the King pay tribute to his beloved mother and vow to follow her “inspiring” example for “what remains of his life”.
Earlier today, other members of the Queen’s family inspected floral tributes outside Balmoral, the Royal Family’s Scottish residence where she died.
On Friday, King Charls III stopped to greet crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace as he arrived in London for the first time as monarch.
He shook hands with countless members of the public.
Tearful and overwhelmed with emotion, people applauded and cheered the King during his 12-minute walkabout outside the palace gates, with several shouting “God bless you, Charles” and “God save the King”.