King Charles III and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, have been “deeply touched” by the global outpouring of support and messages following the passing of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, according to a statement released Sunday.
“Over the last ten days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” Charles said in the statement, published on the Royal Family website.
“In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff, we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, the late Queen,” he said.
The message comes less than a day before the queen’s funeral on Monday when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather in London.
London’s transport authority says it is preparing for around 1 million people to visit the British capital Monday for the state funeral.
Leaders from across the globe, including Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, have also flown in to pay their respects.
Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96 in her Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, alongside several members of the Royal Family.
A private burial service, attended by the family, will take place at 2:30 p.m. ET on Monday in The King George VI Memorial Chapel, where the queen will be buried by the side of her husband, Prince Philip.
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died last year at age 99.
“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief,” said Charles.
Charles’ wife Camilla is also paid homage to Elizabeth through a video message broadcast Sunday night, noting her reign as a woman in a world dominated by male leaders for much of her time as queen.
“It must have been so difficult for her being a solitary woman,” the Queen Consort says.
She adds: “There weren’t women prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one, so I think she carved her own role.”
— With files from the Associated Press
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