“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” the new Prince of Wales 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 grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade. 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,” he added.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Elizabeth died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96.
Immediately following her death, the now-former Prince Charles became king, a role he has waited a lifetime to attain. King Charles III addressed the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for the first time as monarch Friday.
In his speech, Charles paid tribute to his late mother and promised to uphold her commitment to a life of service.
“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said, adding that he “shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”
Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey in London.