LONDON — In his first public comments since the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry paid tribute to “Granny” in a statement Monday morning, thanking her for her “sound advice” and her “infectious smile.”
Writing largely as if speaking directly to the queen, Harry, 37, said he was grateful for the time he had spent with her, “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have had a strained relationship with the royal family, particularly since they stepped back from royal duties in 2020. But Harry was said to have remained close with the queen; the couple, who named their daughter Lilibet after her childhood nickname, paid her a surprise visit in April.
In what was widely perceived as an olive-branch moment, Harry and Meghan made a rare joint appearance on Saturday with William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, as the two brothers and their wives greeted crowds outside Windsor Palace.
Harry’s full statement is below.
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 honor 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.