“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, 40, wrote in a statement via his and his wife’s joint Instagram account on Saturday, September 10. “So much will be said in the days ahead about her historic reign.”
William continued, “I, however, 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 also pointed out that Kate, 40, “has had twenty years of her guidance and support” and their three kids — George, Louis and Charlotte, Princes and Princess of Wales — “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,” the father of three continued. “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.”
William concluded by thanking the late queen for “the kindest she showed [his] family and [him].”
“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.”
William’s heartfelt tribute comes two days after the royal family confirmed that Her Majesty had died at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” a statement read from the family’s official Twitter account on Thursday, September 8. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Following Queen Elizabeth’s passing, her eldest child, Prince Charles, was declared King Charles III in an official televised proclamation on Saturday. His wife, Camilla, was announced as the new Queen Consort. William and Kate now have the titles Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge in addition to formally becoming the new Prince and Princess of Wales — the latter being a title that the late Princess Diana held.