Prince William Shares Personal Statement About the Death of His 'Grannie' Queen Elizabeth

·4 min read
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, around the 'Back to Nature Garden' garden, that she designed along with Andree Davies and Adam White, during their visit to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 20, 2019.
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, around the 'Back to Nature Garden' garden, that she designed along with Andree Davies and Adam White, during their visit to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 20, 2019.

GEOFF PUGH/POOL/AFP via Getty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Kate Middleton

To the world, she was Queen Elizabeth — but to Prince William, she was also "Grannie."

The Queen, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, died Thursday at age 96.

Her grandson Prince William said in an official statement released Saturday, "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."

"I, however, have lost a grandmother," he continued, reflecting on what the Queen meant to his family. "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. 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."

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"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," said William, 40.

He went on to thank the late Queen "for the kindness she showed my family and me. 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."

William concluded, "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."

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Prince William is now next in line to the world's most famous throne, followed by his firstborn son, Prince George, 9.

Queen Elizabeth's death follows her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in April 2021. The news of her death comes with another history-making moment: She was succeeded immediately by her eldest son, King Charles III, who is now monarch.

Royal Family
Royal Family

Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis joined Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony on June 5.

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Prince William and wife Kate Middleton were previously known by the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The titles were bestowed upon them on their April 2011 wedding day by the Queen, William's grandmother. But shortly after Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday that the Queen had died, the official @KensingtonRoyal Twitter and Instagram accounts were updated as belonging to the "Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge." The Duke of Cornwall is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, with his wife taking the Duchess title.

The couple was officially given the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales on Friday by King Charles, 73. Charles, who held the title of Prince of Wales until the Queen's death on Thursday, also previously held the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, which was used in Scotland.

Prince William has had some of his happiest and saddest memories in Scotland. While speaking at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland last year during his royal tour of Scotland, the Duke of Cambridge opened up about his personal connection to the country.

"Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest," added William, noting that he was at Balmoral Castle when he learned of his mother Princess Diana's death in 1997.

"I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning," he said. "And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep."

Queen With Prince William & Prince Henry At Polo
Queen With Prince William & Prince Henry At Polo

Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Prince Harry, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth, the Longest-Reigning British Monarch, Dies at 96

As the speech continued, William went on to focus on some of the happier memories he has of Scotland, including meeting wife Kate, 40.

"And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland – twenty years ago this year — that I first met Catherine," he said of his wife of 11 years, whom he met while they were both studying at St. Andrews.

"Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart," William continued, noting that their love of Scotland is something they will pass along to their three children. "George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too."

He added, "We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders."