Prince Harry has paid an emotional tribute to his grandmother, the Queen, calling her “the guiding compass” to many.
In a personal statement the Duke of Sussex reflected on how his grandmother “was globally admired and respected”.
He also addressed the Queen directly, affectionately calling her “Granny”, and recalled some of the happiest childhood memories he shared with her.
He said: “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.”
It comes after Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, joined his brother Prince William, now the Prince of Wales, at the weekend on the long Walk at Windsor Castle to view flowers and tributes to their grandmother.
The full statement from the Duke said: “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 in her commitment to service and duty.
“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.’
“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.
“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. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.
“Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile.
“We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”