Prince William on Queen Elizabeth's Death: 'I Knew This Day Would Come'

Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8. She was 96.

Prince William has released a statement following the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The Prince Wales took to Instagram on Saturday and expressed sorrow while also applauding her lasting legacy.

"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," the statement read. "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."

"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 some time 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," the statement continued. "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."

Following the news of the queen's death, William and Kate Middleton's official social media accounts were changed to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. 

Queen Elizabeth's death was officially confirmed on Thursday. The monarch was 96.

Prior to the news of her passing, ET confirmed that William, his brother, Prince Harry, as well as the queen's four children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, and Camilla, the Queen Consort and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex were all heading to Balmoral Castle to be by the queen's side. 

Meanwhile, Kate Middleton stayed with her and William's three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 -- who attended their first day at Lambrook School earlier this week. Harry's wife, Meghan Markle also stayed in Windsor. 

The queen’s death means that Charles has officially ascended the throne, making 40-year-old William next in line for the British monarchy. Behind him is his son, Prince George.  

Queen Elizabeth took the throne at 25 years old, and was officially crowned during a 1953 coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. She cemented her new status with a seven-month tour of the Commonwealth, alongside Prince Philip, who died in April 2021. 

Days before her death, Elizabeth made history again, accepting the resignation of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointing new Prime Minister Liz Truss. She requested that these official events take place at Balmoral Castle rather than Buckingham Palace for the first time in her reign. Truss is the third female British Prime Minister ever and the 15th prime minister to be appointed during Her Majesty's reign.