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‘Granny, I’m forever grateful to you’: Prince Harry issues statement ‘celebrating the life’ of the Queen – remembering their ‘cherished memories’ from the first time she met his ‘darling wife’ Meghan to when she hugged her ‘beloved great-grandchildren’
The Duke of Sussex on Monday paid an emotional tribute to his late grandmother the Queen as he praised her ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’ and called her a ‘guiding compass’ through her commitment to service and duty. In Harry’s statement, which is understood to have been held back a day out of respect for the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Duke also said he wanted to honor his father at the start of his reign as King. Harry also referred to his ‘darling wife’ Meghan Markle; said he was grateful that the Queen had hugged her ‘beloved great-grandchildren’; and spoke of how he ‘cherished’ the times spent with the late monarch.
On Monday, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla were in London to visit Westminster Hall, where both Houses of Parliament expressed their condolences to the new monarch and his wife, with the King giving his reply. Later, the coffin carrying the Queen’s body will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to nearby St Giles’ Cathedral where her family and the congregation will attend a service of thanksgiving for her life. Pictured: An Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Mercat Cross, Edinburgh, publicly proclaiming King Charles III as the new monarch.
Harry said in his full statement: ‘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.” He 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. 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.’
Harry’s statement comes two days after the Prince and Princess of Wales put on a united front with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they joined forces on a walkabout at Windsor Castle over the weekend. William and Harry have a well-documented troubled relationship, but the death of their grandmother saw the rivals shelve their differences when, with their wives, they viewed floral tributes left to the late Queen. It is understood the prince invited his brother to join them in meeting well-wishers outside the castle, and a royal source said William thought it was an ‘important show of unity’.
Two years have passed since William, Kate, Harry and Meghan were together side-by-side in public, during the 2020 Commonwealth Day church service on March 9, 2020 (pictured).
As the couple’s first engagement under their new titles, William and Kate were joined by Harry and Meghan as they inspected flowers and balloons before a walkabout at the castle on Saturday. A royal source said the Prince of Wales asked his brother and his wife to join them in viewing the tributes. The source said: ‘The Prince of Wales invited the Duke and Duchess to join him and the Princes of Wales earlier.’
The last time William was joined in public by his brother at Windsor Castle was at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in April 2021 (pictured). Following the walkabout, which lasted more than 40 minutes, both couples left in the same vehicle. All four were dressed in black as they walked along the gates of the castle.
The crowd was heard chatting excitedly and taking photographs as William and Kate and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stopped to speak to each person at the front of the barriers.
The royal couples walked along separately from one another, with William and Kate speaking to people on one side of the road and Harry and Meghan speaking to people on the other side of the road.
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