Prince Edward is paying tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
More than a week after the Queen passed away at age 96, her youngest son expressed his family’s immense grief. “As a family, we have grown up learning to share our parents, especially our beloved mama, with the Nation, her Realms and the Commonwealth,” the Earl of Wessex began in a statement on Sept. 16. “While it has been lovely to have spent time saying our own farewell privately at Balmoral, it is now time to allow others to be able to say their farewell.”
Prince Edward’s statement comes amid the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall in London, where members of the public are able to pay their final respects to the late monarch. The Prince and his siblings, King Charles III, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew held a vigil next to her coffin on Sept. 16, as mourners inside the hall looked on.
In his statement, Edward also issued a word of thanks to the public amid the family’s mourning.
“We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us,” he noted. “And now, we are there for her, united in grief. Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means.”