Prince William pledges to support King as the Queen's youngest children make the first appearance since his death

Prince William pledges to support King as the Queen’s youngest children make the first appearance since his death

Prince William pledged to support King Charles “in every possible way” and greeted “our extraordinary queen” in his first public statement since Queen Elizabeth’s death on Thursday.

It followed the first public appearance of the Queen’s youngest children – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – who thanked benefactors outside Balmoral Castle.

In a heartfelt tribute to his grandmother, the new Prince of Wales said he was “incredibly grateful” that he had the Queen’s wisdom and reassurance.

“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader whose commitment to the country, the Kingdoms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” he said in a statement released by Kensington Palace.

“Many will be said in the days to come about the significance of his historical 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 in my fifth decade.”

On Saturday, Prince Andrew thanked people for paying tribute to Balmoral Castle, saying his family can “now begin the process of handing her over”.

The Duke of York was joined by his sister, Princess Anne and brother, Prince Edward, along with members of their families, for their first public appearance since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The group had left Crathie Kirk – a small church used as a place of worship for the royal family when they were in Balmoral – and traveled by convoy to the palace gates after a private service was held.

They then left their vehicles a short distance from the Balmoral entrance to speak to the crowd.

It is the first time Prince Andrew has spoken publicly since resolving a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who accused the Duke of sexually abusing her when she was 17.

Members of the royal family witness the floral tributes outside the castle gates.
Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward and their families admire the floral tributes outside Balmoral Castle.(Reuters: Phil Noble)

Speaking to an audience member, he said, “We were allowed one day, now we begin the process of broadcasting it,” the Press Association reported.

Together with the three brothers were the queen’s four granddaughters: Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, Zara Tindell and Lady Louise Windsor.

Princess Anna gestures with her hand as a man in a suit stands beside her.
Princess Anne gestures to the crowd outside Balmoral Castle.(Reuters: Phil Noble )

His eldest nephew, Peter Philips, was also there along with Timothy Lawrence, the husband of the royal princess, as well as the wife of Prince Edward Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

The group stopped along the promenade to talk to the public, before stopping to see floral tributes and notes left by the public outside the castle gates.

Prince Andrew hugs the princesses Eugenia and Beatrice as they observe the floral tributes.
Prince Andrew comforts his daughters outside Balmoral Castle as they watch the tributes to the queen.(AP: Scott Heppell)

Prince Andrew was seen putting his arm around his daughter, Princess Eugenie, to comfort her as she watched the tributes.

Princess Eugenie was also seen laying flowers along with other tributes.

Before returning to the castle grounds, the group turned and nodded to thank those who had come to cry.

Members of the royal family greet alongside floral tributes at the castle doors.
Before returning to Balmoral Castle, the group of royalty turned to greet the audience.(AP: Scott Heppell)

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