Prince William and Kate Middleton release heartfelt statement on The Queen's death
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The Royal Family confirmed that the Queen has passed away peacefully at her Balmoral home on Thursday, 8 September, after her children and grandchildren gathered at her estate amid growing concerns for her health.
Following the sad news, William - now the Prince of Wales - thanked his grandmother for the ‘kindness’ she showed him and his family in a joint statement with wife Kate.
It said: “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. 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 had 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.
“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. 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 all of us.
“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.”
The Queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey and there will be a two minutes' silence at midday.
Processions will take place before the Queen is buried in Windsor Castle's King George VI Memorial Chapel.
The day of her funeral will be a National Day of Mourning, but is not expected to be a bank holiday. It will be up to employers whether or not staff are given the day off.
A period of royal mourning will also take place until seven days after the funeral, which – according to the royal family's official website, is a period of respect 'observed by members of the Royal Family and their Households, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties'.
It said: "During this period, Members of the Royal Family will continue undertaking engagements appropriate to the circumstances. Mourning bands will be worn where appropriate."
The Queen’s death means that Charles is now the country's monarch and will go by the title King Charles III.
In a short statement, he wrote: "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
"We mourn profoundly the loss of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved Mother.
"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.
"During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held."