King Charles has released the following statement on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” Charles said in a statement on Thursday.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held,” he added.

Buckingham Palace announced the queen’s death on Thursday.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the palace said. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The monarch, who died at the age of 96, reigned for 70 years. Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of 25, following the death of her father, King George VI. She was the world’s second-longest reigning monarch.

This article originally appeared on Huffpost and has been updated.

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