Hugh Hefner's widow paid a touching tribute to the late Playboy founder on the third anniversary of his death.

Crystal Hefner said she will be ''forever grateful'' to her beloved husband, who passed away at the age of 91 on September 27, 2017, and made her feel ''adored'' for 10 years.

Alongside a picture of the pair, she wrote on Instagram: ''Three years. It's hard to believe. ⁣

Thank you for always being my greatest ally, teaching me the definition of kindness, and making me feel extremely important and adored for ten years. I will be forever grateful.''

Crystal - who married the media mogul in 2012 - was ''in shock'' and couldn't bring herself to go out when Hefner passed away and took some time to adjust to life without him.

But the 34-year-old model is finally ready to ''move on'', three years after his death.

Crystal admitted it's taken her until now to feel ''normal'' and she's found happiness with space engineer Nathan Levi.

She said earlier this month: ''It's taken me three years to feel normal again. Now I'm ready to move on.

''I've just started dating again. He's caring and kind, everything I need...

''The friends who introduced us thought we'd get along and it's going really well. I love the fact he's not in the entertainment industry. He has this really cool job and wants to be an astronaut.''

The blonde beauty was by her husband's side when he died and she admitted they'd had frank conversations about the end of his life.

She said: ''I was with him at the end. We'd already talked about what would happen. 'You'll move on, just know I love you very much' he said, and we cried.

''Our beloved dog Charlie had passed away the year before and Hef promised, 'Charlie and I will be waiting for you.'''

Hef's son Cooper, 29, also remembered his father on the anniversary and toasted him by drinking his favourite beverage of Jack Daniels and Pepsi.

Alongside a family picture, Cooper wrote on his own page: ''We lost our father three years ago today. This will be an afternoon accompanied by Jack and Pepsi to celebrate him and our continued love. We miss and love you, Dad.''

Hef - who was married three times - was also survived by daughter Christie, 67, David, 65, and Marston, 30.