Reacting to the death of his 96-year-old mother and mother-in-law, King Charles III said: “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 passing 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.”
The Queen’s eldest child had travelled to Balmoral Castle to be with her on Thursday after it was announced that she was being kept under medical supervision over concerns about her health from doctors.
Her Majesty lived to become Britain’s longest reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch of modern times, but had suffered from mobility issues in the past year, as well as a bout of Covid.
Though still carrying out public duties, she had scaled back her participation in Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this summer, and both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss travelled to meet her when exchanging the reins of power.
Prince Charles was among members of the Royal Family to take on an increasing number of her roles, especially during the jubilee celebrations in June.
Addressing her directly in a closing speech, he said: “You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these seventy years.”
Now Prince Charles will take on more of her roles, as he is set to be crowned King – with the title of Prince of Wales likely to pass to Prince William as the heir to the throne.
In February, the late Queen made it known that it was her “sincerest wish” that the Duchess of Cornwall to be made Queen Consort when Charles ascends the throne – meaning she would be referred to as Queen rather than a princess consort to the King.
There had been a question mark over her status as wife of the future King for many years following Prince Charles’s divorce from the late Princess Diana and subsequent remarriage.
The Queen gave birth to Prince Charles in 1948, before the death of her father King George VI, at Buckingham Palace.