The death of Queen Elizabeth II at age 96 has, understandably, been the source of countless tributes from millions around the globe. However, it's her own family who has had some of the more poignant and memorable things to say about the beloved late monarch. Here, we look at the personal tributes in the Queen's honour made by members of the British royal family.
King Charles III
Charles officially became king as soon as his mother passed away, and one of his first acts as the new monarch was to speak out about the Queen.
"The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family," he said in a statement via Buckingham Palace. "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt through 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."
A few days after the Queen's death, Prince William, who has the newly appointed title of the Prince of Wales, also issued a statement about his beloved grandmother.
"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 wrote. "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 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."
He continued, "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 sometime 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 us all. 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."
Charles's younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan were coincidentally in the UK at the time of the Queen's death. Harry was able to travel to Balmoral to be with his family on the day of her passing and will reportedly be staying in the UK for a period of mourning. On the weekend following the Queen's death, he and Meghan joined his brother, Prince William and the Princess of Wales Kate in greeting well-wishers at Windsor.
Immediately following the Queen's passing, the website for Harry and Meghan's foundation, Archewell was changed to a simple black background with white text, reading, "In loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022"
In the days following, Harry shared a more personal message on the site, writing, "In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen—and in mourning her loss—we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy. Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: 'Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.'"
He continued, "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings—from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III. Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."
The Queen's only daughter issued a sweet statement just before she and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence flew with the Queen's coffin from Edinburgh to London, where the Queen will lie in state.
"I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.
We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who shares our sense of loss.
We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibilities of The Monarch.
To my mother, The Queen, thank you."
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Beatrice's husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, shared his feelings for the late monarch with a post on Instagram.
"Incredibly hard to process the last 24 hours," he wrote in a post featuring a series of photos of the Queen, including a shot from Edo's pandemic-era wedding to Beatrice, as well as historic photos of Elizabeth. "What an incredible woman and extraordinary mark she’s left on the entire world. She was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Feeling very lucky that our little ones got to spend a wonderful time with her this summer. Rest is [sic] Peace Your Majesty. We will miss you so much. Brokenhearted."
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
The duchess may have been divorced from the Queen's second son, Prince Andrew, since 1997 (the two still live together at the Royal Lodge in Windsor) but she clearly still harboured strong feelings for the late monarch.
"I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen," she wrote on Instagram. "She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years. She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK and the Commonwealth. To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce. I will miss her more than words can express."
Ferguson, better known to the public as Fergie, reportedly bonded with the Queen over a love of dogs—perhaps part of the reason that the Queen's beloved corgis are set to be cared for by herself and Prince Andrew.
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