Prince Harry makes first official statement since Her Majesty's death

·2-min read
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Prince Harry has penned a heartbreaking tribute to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last week at the age of 96.

The statement, which was released via social media, is the first to be made by the Duke of Sussex since news of Her Majesty's death was announced on 8 September.

"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," he said in the statement. "She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy."

Looking back at the close bond he shared with Her Majesty – and referencing one of the monarch's most memorable quotes – Harry continued, "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 Duke of Sussex went on: "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."

Elsewhere in his statement, Harry touched upon the new reign of his father who has succeeded Her Majesty as head of state. "And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III."

As his emotional tribute drew to a close, the now-fifth in line to the throne echoed the sentiment that Her Majesty has finally been reunited with her beloved husband, Prince Philip – who passed away in April of last year at the age of 99.

"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," Harry wrote. "You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over."

Over the weekend, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle joined the newly-appointed Prince and Princess of Wales to meet mourners who'd gathered at Windsor Castle. The foursome greeted well-wishers paying their respects to the Queen, in their first appearance as a group since Her Majesty's passing.

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