Paying tribute to the monarch
and expressing their sadness in a deeply heartfelt message, Edward began: “As
a family, we have grown up learning to share our parents, especially our
beloved mama, with the Nation, her Realms and the Commonwealth.
“While it has been lovely
to have spent time saying our own farewell privately at Balmoral, it is now
time to allow others to be able to say their farewell. We have been
overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of
people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and
respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us. And
now, we are there for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you
have no idea how much it means.”
The statement continued:
“The Queen’s passing has left an unimaginable void in all our lives.
Sophie and I have taken huge pleasure in seeing our James and Louise enjoying
the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much. Given that my
mama let us spend so much time with her, I think she also rather enjoyed
watching those passions blossom. Those times together, those happy memories,
have now become massively precious to each and every one of us.
“May God bless Her
Majesty and may her memory be long cherished even as the baton she has carried
for these past 70 years now passes to the next generation and to my brother,
Charles. Long Live the King.”
Elizabeth II was the nation’s
longest-reigning monarch, serving as head of state for more than 70 years. The
Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately on the
death of his mother.
The Queen was not only mother
to Prince Edward but was also a doting grandmother to the Earl and Countess’
two children, Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14, who
are likely devastated by the family’s recent loss.
Lady Louise in particular
shared an incredibly close relationship with her grandparents and marked an
incredibly poignant moment this summer when she led an emotional procession
at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, driving her late grandfather’s carriage.
The Queen looked solemn but
proud of the 18-year-old as she took part in the procession to mark the finale
of the ‘Gallop Through History’ event.
Lady Louise’s appearance was
all the more special given she inherited her passion for equestrianism from the
Queen and carriage riding from Prince Philip, who was a key figure in helping
to establish it as a sport in Britain.
The Wessexes recently enjoyed
a summer break with the Queen at Balmoral, joining her at the royal residence
which is said to have been one of her favorite places on Earth.
In the ITV documentary, Our
Queen at Ninety, Princess Eugenie spoke about the wonder of Balmoral. “I
think Granny is the happiest there, I think she really, really loves the
Highlands… Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there are always dogs! And
people coming in and out all the time.
“Family-wise we’re all
there, so it’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa to be – for us to come and
see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run.”