Prince William Says Queen 'Was by My Side' During 'Saddest Days of My Life'

Prince William said his "grannie," Queen Elizabeth II, was by my side during
the saddest days of my life, in apparent reference to the death of his own mother Princess Diana.

The new Prince of Wales released a public statement expressing his grief at the loss of a monarch who he said provided "an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all."

The future king spoke of the influence Elizabeth had on not only himself but also wife Kate Middleton, now the new Princess of Wales, adopting Princess Diana's former title.

William's statement read: "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."

William, Diana and Queen
Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales, attends meeting of the Accession Council inside St James's Palace in London on September 10, 2022, to proclaim Britain's King Charles III as the new King. Prince William has paid tribute to his 'Grannie' who was "by my side" during the "saddest days of my life." KIRSTY O'CONNOR/ ANWAR HUSSEIN/ BEN STANSALL/GETTY

August 31 marked the 25th anniversary of Princess of Diana's death in a Paris car crash in 1997, when William was just 15 and Prince Harry was 12.

On the day the princess died, Prince William Elizabeth, Charles and the royals at Balmoral, the same Scottish castle where the queen passed away on Thursday.

In a May 2021 speech the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he said: "Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories but also some of my saddest. I was in Balmoral when I was told my mother had died.

Prince William's Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Full

"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.

"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. 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."

"Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service of Crathie Kirk [the local church where Elizabeth worshipped] that very morning. And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors."

In 2017, in the lead up to the 20th anniversary of Diana's death Prince William described how he was at Balmoral when he spoke to his mother by phone before the crash, the last words they shared together.

He told ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy: "I think Harry and I were just in a desperate rush to say goodbye. You know, 'See you later' and we're going to go off.

"If I'd known what was going to happen I wouldn't have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind quite, quite heavily."

Asked if he remembered what they said to each other, he replied: "I do, I do."
Though the future king could not bring himself to reveal the conversation.