Duke of Sussex calls his grandmother his ‘guiding compass’, thanking her for her ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’
The Duke of Sussex has paid tribute to the Queen’s “unwavering grace and dignity” in a farewell message to his late grandmother that also thanked her for her “sound advice” and “infectious smile”.
In a message posted on his and his wife’s Archwell website, Prince Harry said he was “forever grateful” that the Queen had met Meghan and hugged the couple’s two children, Archie and Lilibet.
The Queen met one-year-old Lilibet, who is named after her, for the first time during the platinum jubilee celebrations in June, when the Sussexes made their first return trip to the UK as a family since they stepped back from their official roles in the royal family.
Addressing her as “Granny”, Harry shared his “great sadness” at the Queen’s death, saying she would be “sorely missed”. He described her as a “guiding compass” through her commitment to service and duty.
In a statement released on Monday, which is understood to have been held back a day out of respect for the 9/11 anniversary, the duke also said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as king.
Harry 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.”
The statement came two days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the new Prince and Princess of Wales at Windsor Castle. It is understood that William invited his brother to join them in meeting wellwishers outside the castle, and a royal source said William thought it was an “important show of unity”.
It had been two years since the two couples were seen together side by side in public, during the 2020 Commonwealth Day church service, and they appeared at ease driving off together with William at the wheel of a Range Rover after their walkabout, which lasted just over 40 minutes.
Although there was a 45-minute delay to the walkabout, said to have been the result of protracted negotiations over the invitation, delighted crowds broke into applause at the sight of the two couples’ show of unity.
On Monday, it was reported that the brothers may walk side by side behind the Queen’s coffin at her funeral on 19 September.