Prince Harry paid tribute on Monday to his late grandmother Elizabeth II, whom he called a “compass”, thanking his “granny” for her sense of duty and her “contagious smile”.
“As we celebrate the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, and mourn her loss, we are all reminded of the compass that guided so many through her commitment to service and duty,” the 37-year-old prince, whose split from the royal family in 2020 rocked the monarchy, said in a statement.
“Grandma, although this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first encounters, from my earliest childhood memories, our first encounter as Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment when you met my darling wife and hugged your great-grandchildren,” he continued.
“I cherish those times shared with you, and the many other times peculiar between the two. You are already sorely missed, not only by us, but by the whole world”, added the prince who lives with his wife Meghan Markle in California.
“And as these are first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III,” he said as relations with his father and older brother William are notoriously sour. p>
“Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your wise advice. Thank you for your contagious smile,” he added.
Since his shock departure from the United Kingdom, the prince had admitted to having difficult relations with his father and William but had always stressed that he had kept good relations with the sovereign who died Thursday at the age of 96 in Scotland.
In the UK at the time of his death, he arrived at the Balmoral residence separately from the rest of the family and well after his death.
In signs of possible rapprochements, Charles III expressed in his first speech his “love” for Harry and Meghan. And on Saturday, William, now heir to the throne and Prince of Wales, and Harry appeared together in Windsor to pay their respects to flowers laid in memory of the Queen, along with their respective wives.
He s' was the first public appearance for the two couples since March 2020, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the UK.
The two couples were in Windsor, where William and Kate live with their three children and where Harry and Meghan were staying while visiting the UK for charity events, but had not originally planned to see each other.