Prince Harry on Monday released a personal statement following the death of his beloved “Granny,” Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 96.
“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, ”the Duke of Sussex said in the statement.
Harry added he cherished the moments he spent with Queen Elizabeth and said her loss was being felt by the whole world, also noting his father’s new role as King Charles III.
“Thank you for your infectious smile,” he said. “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
Harry is one of the queen’s eight grandchildren.
The late British monarch is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren, including Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie, and daughter Lili, who is named after the queen’s family nickname “Lilibet.”
The two children are now technically “prince” and “princess” after the death of the queen, though it is unclear if King Charles will change protocols.
Harry and Meghan both have spoken of their very close relationship with the queen, which continued after the two stepped back as working members of the royal family and moved to North America.
Meghan talked about Harry’s love for the queen during the couple’s first interview with BBC’s Mishal Husain after getting engaged. She said it was “incredible” to “be able to meet her through his lens di lei, not just with his di lei honor and respect di lei for her di lei, but the love and respect he has for her as his grandmother di lei . ”
“All of those layers have been important to me,” Meghan said at the time.
On Saturday, Prince William, the new Prince of Wales and heir apparent, also released a statement in remembrance of his beloved “Grannie.”
While mourning the world’s loss of “an extraordinary leader,” the royal said that “I, however, have lost a grandmother.”
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life, ”he continued. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
After the release of the Prince of Wales’s statement, William and Kate, the Princess of Wales, had a surprise reunion with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor.
The former “Fab Four,” who were all dressed in black, interacted with members of the public who’d gathered to pay their respects. The royals also viewed flower arrangements left by well-wishers.
During the walk-about, the Princess of Wales got emotional, relaying a story about her youngest son, Prince Louis, who said “At least Gan-Gan is with great grandpa now.”