Royal family reflect on the life and enduring legacy of Her Majesty The Queen

As the nation begins life without The Queen, ITV News hears the reflections on her legacy from members of her family

The royal family has reflected on the life and enduring legacy of The Queen, the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who "reached into the hearts and minds of every generation".

Over the years, members of the royal family have spoken of their love and affection of The Queen, who served as head of state for more than 70 years up until her death aged 96.

William, now heir to the throne and known as the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, praised his grandmother's length of service to the country, carrying out her duties for so long "without complaint, without worry".

He also spoke fondly of the closeness she felt with all her family, despite having an extremely busy schedule, describing her as an "extremely caring grandmother".

The Queen and William in the Royal Box for the Patron's Lunch in The Mall. Credit: PA

Prince Harry said The Queen created a positive legacy across the globe, with people from all different ethnic backgrounds among her legions of admirers.

"What she's led and what she has achieved and what she has created amongst a huge amount of people from different ethnic backgrounds, different skin colours... whatever it be she has created this," he said.

The Princess Royal, meanwhile, who was born in 1950, also spoke movingly of The Queen, her mother.

They shared a love of horses – the Queen taught her daughter to ride – and Anne’s practicality, hard work and devotion to royal duty was much admired by both her parents.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Clarence House with members of the royal family in 2007. Credit: PA

"I think the achievement is measuring what has happened in that period in terms of her ability to have moved with the times, and still be understood in relation to a modern society," Anne said.

Reflecting this sentiment, Princess Beatrice said The Queen was such a "timeless figure" that it allowed her to "reach into the hearts and minds of every generation".

She went on to praise Her Majesty, who came to the throne as a rather shy 25-year-old, ruling over a nation that had lost much of its power in the world and an empire that was crumbling fast.

Yet she surprised many by emerging stronger than ever from the winds of change, steering the monarchy safely through an era of storm as well as calm.

"She handled it with an effortless grace and I think at that point you really realised who this person is," Princess Beatrice said.

The Queen returning to Clarence House, in 1952, with the Duke of Edinburgh, from Kenya after the sudden death of her father, King George VI. Credit: PA

Charles said it was "truly remarkable" the way she met with the challenge, following the death of her father King George VI.

"It appeared effortless, but it jolly well isn't," he said.

Prince Andrew, who said some royals referred to The Queen as "mummy", fondly recalled how she put a lot of effort into ensuring their was time for her children growing up.

"I think our mother probably put a lot more effort to make sure that there was time for us as children bearing in mind she was already the Queen by the time we came along.

"We would usually see her in the afternoons and evenings."

"Responsibility, perhaps compassion, comes from The Queen."

Queen Elizabeth II with her younger children, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward at Windsor Castle. Credit: PA

Edward warmly remembered the time carved out for the family to enjoy holidays together.

"I tend to remember the holidays," he said.

"Both of my parents were always fantastic about giving that time during those holidays... despite the lives that they both led."

The warm words, which were recorded before The Queen died, came after Charles, the nation’s new King, described the death of The Queen, who he called his “beloved Mother”, as the “greatest sadness” for his family.

One of the first acts of the new monarch – whose title has been confirmed by the Prime Minister as King Charles III – was to speak of his grief and highlight the “respect and deep affection” in which the Queen was “so widely held”. His words came soon after Buckingham Palace confirmed Elizabeth II, 96, died “peacefully” on Thursday afternoon. Charles said in a written statement: “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. “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."

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