Prince William is sharing insight into how he’s walking his three children through the death of their great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. The royal told one well-wisher, a school teacher named Elaine Gee, that he’s trying to maintain a sense of normalcy.
“I told him how I work at a school and how it’s been a strange year celebrating the Jubilee and now it’s all changed and we are talking about this,” Gee told PEOPLE. “He spoke about George, Charlotte and Louis, saying that they were trying to keep some sense of continuity for them at school and keep things as normal as possible.”
Gee also spoke to Kate Middleton, who shared some insight into how the whole family is doing. “Catherine thanked me, and she said that all the nation were feeling it,” she said. “They were both very kind and gentle and genuine. It was very special — definitely a moment I will always treasure.”
Prince William offered a heartfelt statement after his grandmother passed away last week, explaining just how much the royal meant to himself, his wife and his children.
“…While I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade. My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives,” he said. “She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
The Queen had a special relationship with her great-grandchildren, who could often be spotted by her side at royal events. Prince George adorably called her “Gan Gan,” according to Middleton. “She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay,” the royal told ITV in 2016. “That just shows, I think, her love for her family.”
Prince Harry also shared a message about the important role that the Queen played as both a grandmother and a great-grandmother. “I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren,” he wrote in a statement, following her passing. “I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between.”
To most, she was Queen Elizabeth II — but to some, she was simply “Granny”.