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Harry thanks Queen for ‘sound advice’ in emotional tribute

The Duke of Sussex meeting members of the public at Windsor Castle in Berkshire following the death of the Queen (Chris Jackson/PA)
The Duke of Sussex meeting members of the public at Windsor Castle in Berkshire following the death of the Queen (Chris Jackson/PA)

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”.

Harry also 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 anniversary of September 11, 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.’”

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 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.”

Queen Elizabeth II death
The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving to view the messages and floral tributes left by members of the public at Windsor Castle (Chris Jackson/PA).

The statement comes two days after the Duchess of Sussex and the duke joined the new Prince and Princess of Wales at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

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, and they appeared at ease driving off together with William at the wheel of a Range Rover after their walkabout lasted a little more than 40 minutes.