“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign,” the 40-year-old Prince of Wales wrote in the message posted on social media, his first statement since Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
“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.”
Prince William continued, “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.”
The official statement arrived just hours after William’s father, now King Charles III, was proclaimed king at an accession ceremony Saturday.
“I will honor her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can,” Prince William wrote.
“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.”
On Saturday, Buckingham Palace also announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will take place Sept. 19 at London’s Westminster Abbey, following a four-day lying in state at Westminster Hall. Prior to the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will move from Balmoral in Scotland, where she died, to Edinburgh, and then will travel by hearse to the city’s St Giles’s Cathedral until the coffin is flown back to Buckingham Palace ahead of the state funeral.