The newly ascended King Charles III said in a statement on Thursday that the royal family is mourning the loss of “a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” following the death of 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,” the king said.

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” he added. “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.”

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96, after a 70-year reign. Charles immediately ascended to the throne following his mother’s death.