“In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us,” Charles, 74, wrote via the royal family’s official social media pages on Thursday, September 7. “I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all. – Charles R.”
Alongside the heartfelt message, Charles — who ascended the throne immediately after Elizabeth died in September 2022 — shared a video montage. The clip featured an image of young Elizabeth as well as a photo of Charles, wife Queen Camilla and the late monarch waving to citizens of the United Kingdom.
Buckingham Palace announced in September 2022 that the queen, who ruled on the British throne for 70 years, had died at the age of 96. After Elizabeth’s casket lay in state in Scotland and England, the royal family held her state funeral later that month.
Prince William and Princess Kate attended the ceremony with their oldest two children: Prince George, 10, and Princess Charlotte, 8. Charles, meanwhile, was joined at the memorial by Camilla, 75, and Prince Harry attended the ceremony with wife Meghan Markle. (The Prince and Princess of Wales’ youngest child, Prince Louis, 5, along with Harry and Meghan’s two children, Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, were not present for the service.)
Elizabeth’s funeral also served as a reunion between Harry, 38, Meghan, 42, and the rest of the royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been at odds with The Firm since their 2020 decision to step down from their senior royal duties. The queen’s funeral served as the second time Harry had seen his family since moving with Meghan to California. (He attended Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.)
“Just recently, my brother and I were walking the same route [at Elizabeth’s funeral]. And we sort of joked to each other and said, ‘At least we know the way,’” Harry recalled during his January ITV interview, noting that the day felt “very similar” to his mother Princess Diana’s funeral. “The only difference was the levels of emotion. Because our grandmother had finished life. There was more, I think, of a celebration and respect and recognition to what she had accomplished. Whereas our mother was taken away far too young.” (Diana, who shared Prince William and Prince Harry with Charles, died in August 1997 at the age of 36 following a fatal car crash.)
Last month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Charles, William and Kate were still figuring out how to properly honor the late queen on the first anniversary of her death.
“William, Kate and Charles are all still planning how they will commemorate the passing of the queen, the wounds still feel fresh and it’s been hard for them to find a way for a celebration that will match the gravitas the queen exuded,” the insider explained. “On September 8th there will be some acknowledgment or event, [but] the details are still being ironed out.”
The source added that Harry and Meghan would “likely not be in attendance” should there be an official event, but “Charles will follow in his mother’s tradition and take the day with Camilla to reflect in solitude.”