Prince and Paris Jackson. They also have a younger brother Prince Michael II, known as Blanket

Michael Jackson's Children Devastated

26 Jun 2009

Youngsters said to be inconsolable – but what will happen to them without their father?

The death of Michael Jackson is said to have left his three young children distraught.

The King Of Pop is survived by Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II, known fondly by the singer as Blanket.

His sudden death is expected to spark a frought legal battle over who gets custody of his three children.

The singer was pronounced dead aged 50 at a hospital in Los Angeles last night. He was taken there in a coma following his collapse at home.

It is not yet known who will take care of them, but a source close to his family said his ex-wife Debbie Rowe is expected to receive initial custody while long-term arrangements are sorted out.

Nor is it clear what their financial situation will be. Although Jackson ranked alongside the Beatles and Elvis Presley in terms of his earnings, in recent years it has been rumoured he had amassed huge debts of an estimated $60million.

He had planned a series of comeback concerts at London's O2 Arena, which would have cleared his debts.

Prince Michael and Paris were the product of Jackson's second marriage to Rowe, a nurse, in 1996.

After the couple divorced in 1999, Jackson took on sole responsibility for their children's upbringing.

There was some controversy surrounding the move and questions were asked as to whether Rowe would receive access rights.

But he was quoted as saying she was happy togive up the children to Michael completely, saying: "They're his kids, not mine. They're his kids".

Michael was so fiercely protective of them he took an unusual approach to protecting them from the media glare by covering their faces.

His third child, Prince Michael II, was born to a mystery surrogate mother he never even met.

 Earlier this month, Michael was photographed with his two older children in Los Angeles looking healthier than he has in recent months.

His sudden and tragic death has sent shockwaves across the world.