Prince Edward has said the death of the Queen has left “an unimaginable void in all our lives” as he thanked the public for their support. The Earl of Wessex said in a statement the Royal Family have been “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us”, thanking the public “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”
Edward said “we are united in grief”, again thanking people for their support whil adding:”You have no idea how much it means.”
He said in a statement:”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 Earl of Wessex added the Queen’s death has “left an unimaginable void in all our lives”, before he paid another heartfelt tribute to the late monarch and ended his statement with: “Long live the King”.
Edward concluded: “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.”
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The statement was released as the Earl and Countess of Sussex met well-wishers gathered outside Windsor Castle and viewed floral tributes placed nearby in memory of the Queen.
The royal couple smiled and laughed as they shook hands and accepted bouquets from mourners lined up outside Cambridge Gate.
Sophie promised one well-wisher “I will lay them for you” as she was given the flowers, which she said were “lovely”.
At one point, a member of a group of nuns waiting behind a crash barrier clasped Sophie’s hand and kissed it.
Edward – the Queen’s youngest son – asked well-wishers where they were from and told them “thank you very much indeed”.
The Queen is lying in state at Westminster Hall in central London, where a huge queue of people has been flowing past her coffin to pay their respects to the late monarch.
Later this evening, Prince Edward will join Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and Prince Edward for a a sombre vigil to honour their late mother.
The Queen’s coffin will lie in state at Westminster Hall in central London until the state funeral on Monday to provide members of the public with the opportunity to pay their respects to the late monarch.
It is standing in on a purple-clad catafalque, draped in the Royal Standard and with the bejewelled Imperial State Crown placed on top.
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