The newly-titled Prince of Wales took a personal tone in his first public message since his grandmother's passing on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the age of 96.
"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," he said in a statement shared with TODAY. "I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful."
William, 40, said that despite his grandmother’s role as queen, she was always there for him.
"I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade," he wrote. "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. 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," the statement continued.
"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 us all," he said. "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," he concluded. William already attended several ceremonial events today that formalized King Charles' position as the king of the United Kingdom.
Since the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, formerly known as the Duchess of Cambridge, have received new titles as the Prince and Princess of Wales. Kate becomes the first royal to use the title Princess of Wales since the death of Princess Diana, William's mother. They will also remain the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
William was at Balmoral Castle when his grandmother died. His brother, Prince Harry, arrived at the Scottish estate about an hour after her passing was announced. While William and Harry have been distant in recent years, royal experts have hoped that the brothers will mend their relationship in the wake of their grandmother's death.