Prince Charles paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II in his first statement as monarch Thursday evening.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
Charles, 73, immediately assumed the throne following Queen Elizabeth II’s death at Balmoral Castle on Thursday afternoon. She was 96. Clarence House has confirmed the new King will officially be known as King Charles III.
Speaking shortly after the Queen’s death was announced, Uk Prime Minister Liz Truss said: “Today the crown passes, as it has done for more than 1,000 years, to our new monarch — our new head of state — His Majesty King Charles III.”
Queen Elizabeth II is survived by Charles as well as her other three children, Andrew, Anne, and Edward, along with grandchildren including Prince William, who is now second in line to the throne, and Prince Harry, who lives in the U.S. Her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, died in 2021 aged 99.
One of the world’s most highly-respected heads of state, Queen Elizabeth II was born the first daughter of King George VI in 1926 and became the UK’s monarch at just 25 upon her father’s death, with her coronation taking place in 1953.
She remained in post for 70 years, overseeing the reign of 15 Prime Ministers and historical events including the Suez Canal scandal, UK miners’ strike, Gulf Wars, Britain’s entry and exit into the European Union, and, latterly, the Covid-19 pandemic. Just this week, Liz Truss traveled to meet her at Balmoral so the Queen could formally ask her to form her new government — a key British constitutional act.
She replaced Queen Victoria as the UK’s longest-serving monarch in September 2015 and is the second longest-serving monarch of all time worldwide, after France’s Louis XIV.