Prince Harry paid touching tribute Monday to his “Granny,” Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week at age 96 after reigning longer than any other British monarch.
In a statement posted on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website for their foundation, Archewell, Harry thanked his grandmother for her “commitment to service,” “sound advice” and “infectious smile.”
“In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen — and in mourning her loss — we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many,” the duke wrote.
“She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy. Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.’”
The 37-year-old royal also vowed to honor his father “in his new role as King Charles III,” despite their relationship becoming strained in recent years. (During his bombshell TV interview with his wife Meghan and Oprah Winfrey last year, Harry revealed that his father stopped taking his calls around the time the Sussexes decided to step away from their royal duties.)
Monday’s statement marks the first time Harry has individually and formally addressed the queen’s death. He and Meghan previously dedicated the landing page of their Archewell website to the late monarch in addition to greeting mourners at Windsor Castle alongside William and Kate — the newly minted Prince and Princess of Wales.
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, 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,” Harry continued in his tribute.
“I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. … We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
After viewing floral tributes to the queen and speaking with people waiting outside Windsor Castle on Saturday, Harry, Meghan, William and Kate waved to the crowd and left the grounds in a black SUV. Video footage of their departure was heavily scrutinized on social media, where many praised Harry for opening the car door for Meghan and scolded William for failing to do the same for Kate.
After helping his wife into the vehicle, Harry shook several more hands before ducking into the car.
“harry opening the door for megan and then saying goodbye to the people really shows his character difference from whatever his name is,” tweeted @dangitbrit.
“If it was harry who didn’t open the door for Megan it would be breaking news,” tweeted @cryfordaya.
Harry is the latest to remark on the death of the queen amid what has been both a mourning and transitional period for the royal family.
In addition to Charles, William, Kate and others getting updated titles, Prince Andrew and Sarah — the Duke and Duchess of York, who both live at the Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate — have reportedly inherited two of the queen’s beloved Corgis. According to CNN, the duchess and the queen continued to bond over their love for dogs even after Sarah and Andrew divorced in 1996.
During a funeral procession on Monday, King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward all wore military uniforms, while Andrew, the queen’s fourth child, did not. Earlier this year, Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and fired from his royal duties after he was sued for sexual assault and called out for his ties to convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019.