Nancy Reagan Was 'Very Ready to Go' and Longed to Reunite With Her 'Ronnie,' Friends Say

03/09/2016 AT 08:00 AM EST

Together, Nancy Reagan and her husband, ‘Ronnie’, wrote a White House love story worthy of Old Hollywood. Subscribe now for an inside look at their extraordinary journey and 52-year marriage, only in PEOPLE!

Before Nancy Reagan passed peacefully in her sleep last weekend, she was ready – eager, even – to be reunited with her "Ronnie," the love of her life.

"Oh, she always mentioned that," her friend, talk-show host Larry King tells PEOPLE in an interview for this week's cover story.

Nancy would often visit her husband's grave at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where the former first lady will be laid to rest on March 11, beside the former president, who died in 2004, King says.

Nancy Reagan Was 'Very Ready to Go' and Longed to Reunite With Her 'Ronnie,' Friends Say| Nancy Reagan Cover, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan

Nancy Reagan on the cover of PEOPLE


"How she looked forward to being buried next to him. She had a strong belief that they're together. She believed it and that's what was important for her."

As granddaughter Ashley Reagan wrote on Twitter after Nancy's death on Sunday, "Grandma and Grandpa are together again."

Nancy Reagan Was 'Very Ready to Go' and Longed to Reunite With Her 'Ronnie,' Friends Say| Nancy Reagan Cover, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan

Nancy and Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office in 1985

Hulton Archive / Getty


For more on Nancy and Ronald Reagan's great American love story, pick up a copy of this week's PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands Friday

King says he last spoke to Nancy several months ago and even then, "she was very ready to go. She didn't like her condition. She'd fallen a few times and she was feeling 94."

And close friend Betsy Bloomingdale explains that Nancy never really got over losing Ron.

"Like any widow, she adjusted. But Nancy missed Ronnie terribly and always."
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