Prince William and Kate Middleton bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8, after the 70-year-old monarch passed away. She was 96.
“Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader whose devotion to the country, the empires and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the coming days about the significance of her historic reign,” William said in a statement statement released via Twitter Saturday.
“However, I have lost a grandmother. And while I will mourn her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have benefited from the wisdom and reassurance of the Queen into my fifth decade.”
William went on to say that his wife also had the late monarch’s leadership and support for 20 years, while their children had the lucky chance to “spend vacations” and “create memories” that will last a lifetime.
“She was by my side in my happiest moments. And she was by my side through the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be a while before the reality of life without grandma will feel real,” William’s statement continued.
“I thank her for the kindness she has shown my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for setting an example of service and dignity in public life that was of a different age, but always relevant to all of us.”
William concluded, “My grandmother once said that grief was the price we pay for love. All the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be a testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary queen. I will honor her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, formerly known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, issued a statement of mourning after the royal family announced Elizabeth’s death at her Scottish holiday home.
“The Queen passed away peacefully in Balmoral this afternoon,” the royal family said in a statement. “The King and Queen Consort remain in Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow.”
King Charles III called his mother’s death the “greatest sadness” in a private statement.
Her passing came hours after the monarch’s family announced her health had changed and she was “under medical supervision.”
Prince Charles – now King Charles III – Prince William, Prince Andrew and more rushed to Scotland to be by her side as her health deteriorated.
Prince Harry also rushed to be by his grandmother’s side while Meghan Markle stayed behind in the UK.
The Duke of Cambridge, 40, is now first in the line of succession to the British throne after his father, Prince Charles, became king immediately after the Queen’s death.
The Queen had expressed strong support for William and Middleton’s relationship from the start.
In April 2011, the monarch officially authorized her grandson to tie the knot with Middleton, nearly a year after William posed the question with his late mother Princess Diana’s famous engagement ring.
“Under the Great Seal of the Realm, the Queen signed a Notice of Approval in which, in transcribed calligraphy, she consented to the union of our dearest grandson, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, KG and our faithful and beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton,” the palace said in a statement at the time.
The couple married at Westminster Abbey next week. They have since welcomed three children: Prince George, 9, who is now second in line to the British throne, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
Amid a string of family dramas that have plagued the monarchy in recent years, including Prince Harry’s royal departure and Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse scandal, the Queen and William managed to stay close.
In June 2021, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch celebrated her grandson’s birthday with a sweet message.
“Happy Birthday to the Duke of Cambridge today! #HappyBirthdayHRH,” read a tweet on the bill royal family along with several photos of William at various engagements over the years.
The Queen also only spoke highly of Middleton, performing many of her royal duties over the years alongside the Duchess of Cambridge, 40.
Likewise, Middleton showed mutual respect for the Queen and honored her many times, including in April 2021 when she wore her husband’s grandmother’s pearl necklace, which Diana previously wore.
William and Middleton recently got together with the Queen in a public setting to celebrate her platinum anniversary in June.
The couple were also at the Queen’s side as she mourned the loss of her husband, Prince Philip, at his memorial service in March. The Duke of Edinburgh died in April 2021 at the age of 99.