Today marked a true moment in history: the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch. While to many she was seen as a notable public figure, to Her Majesty's family, she was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
As part of a moving tribute to their 'Grannie', Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie (the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York) have shared a jointly-written emotional letter to Her Majesty – and expressed their support for their uncle, the newly proclaimed King Charles III.
Alongside their poignant words, thanking the Queen for providing 'comfort' and 'joy', the York sisters also posted a previously unseen photograph of themselves and Her Majesty, from an unknown date in the 1990s, when they were infants. In the picture, Beatrice and Eugenie are sat on the Queen's lap, wearing matching outfits and stroking a dog.
Accompanying the photo, which was posted on Princess Eugenie's Instagram account, were the words: "Our dearest Grannie, We've not been able to put much into words since you left us all. There have been tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our beloved Grannie. We, like many, thought you'd be here forever. And we all miss you terribly."
The sisters continued on to add, "You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever.
"For now dear Grannie, all we want to say is thank you. Thank you for making us laugh, for including us, for picking heather and raspberries, for marching soldiers, for our teas, for comfort, for joy. You, being you, will never know the impact you have had on our family and so many people around the world."
The Princesses added that they are "so happy" for the Queen to be reunited with her husband, Prince Philip. "We're so happy you're back with Grandpa. Goodbye dear Grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we're so very proud of you.
"We know that dear Uncle Charles, the King, will continue to lead in your example as he too has dedicated his life to service. God save the King."
Following Her Majesty's death, Princess Beatrice has had a step up in her royal duties, having been made a Counsellor of State, meaning she is able to act on behalf of King Charles III in an official capacity should he ever instruct her to (in the event of illness, for example).
Our thoughts are with all those mourning Queen Elizabeth II at this time.
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