Prince William shared a tribute to his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Saturday, marking the first time he has released a statement since her death on Thursday. In it, he remembered her as an “extraordinary leader” and as his “Grannie.”
“So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign,” he wrote. “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.”
William wrote about the “guidance and support” the queen offered his wife, Kate, the Princess of Wales, and the great-grandmother she was to his three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
“My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives,” he said.
William also reflected on his personal relationship with the queen.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” he wrote. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
He thanked her for showing kindness to his family and for setting “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,” the prince concluded.
William, who is now next in line to the throne, also received new titles in the wake of his grandmother’s death. Just days ago, William and Kate held the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Now, they are also the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, a title that belonged to King Charles III for decades. The king — who was officially declared so on Saturday — also bestowed the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales to the couple.
“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles, which have meant so much to me,” King Charles said Friday during his first televised speech as monarch. “He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Dutchy of Cornwall, which I have undertaken for more than five decades. Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.”
William’s mother, Princess Diana, was the last person to hold the Princess of Wales title, while Charles’ current wife, Camilla, was previously the Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla is now queen consort.
The new titles will also entitle the couple to millions of dollars a year.
Next in line to the throne after William is his son, George.
Sophie Reardon is a News Editor at CBS News. Reach her at [email protected]