Prince Harry gives emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth after paying respects with Meghan Markle

London, UK - Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has paid an emotional tribute to his late grandmother the Queen as he thanked her for her "sound advice" and "infectious smile."

Prince Harry (second from r.) released a moving statement about his grandmother's death after appearing with his brother Prince William (l.), Catherine, Princess of Wales, and his wife Meghan Markle (r) to pay his respects and greet the public at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
Prince Harry (second from r.) released a moving statement about his grandmother's death after appearing with his brother Prince William (l.), Catherine, Princess of Wales, and his wife Meghan Markle (r) to pay his respects and greet the public at Windsor Castle on Saturday.  © REUTERS

Harry also described Queen Elizabeth II as a "guiding compass" through her commitment to service and duty, following her death on Thursday.

In a statement released on Monday, which is understood to have been held back a day out of respect for the anniversary of September 11, the duke also said he wanted to honor his father at the start of his reign as King.

"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," Harry said. "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.'"

Harry had been visiting the UK from his new home in California with his wife Meghan Markle for a number of previous engagements when his grandmother passed. The couple showed a unified front together with Kate Middleton and Prince William, Harry's brother, on Saturday, when they paid their respects and greeted mourners after a reported royal family rift.

Prince Harry gives gushing tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II along with the public over the weekend.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II along with the public over the weekend.  © REUTERS

Prince Harry added: "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."

One of her great-grandchildren, Harry's one-year-old daughter Lilibet, is named for the late monarch.

"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."

Cover photo: REUTERS

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