Prince Harry has made his first personal statement on the loss of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, following her death on Thursday. The Duke of Sussex released a statement through a spokesperson about his and Meghan Markle’s deep love and respect for the late monarch, also touching on his children Archie and Lilibet’s connection to her.
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 comes days after their spokesperson confirmed that the Duke of Sussex was traveling to Balmoral, Scotland, to be with the Queen, following the Palace’s statement that the Queen was under medical supervision by her doctors. Meghan remained in London, as did Kate Middleton. Meghan and Harry canceled their appearance at Thursday’s Well Child Awards to be with the Queen and their family.
Even after their exit from royal life and their subsequent move to California, Harry and Meghan have been vocal about how close they were to Queen Elizabeth; the couple did, after all, choose to name their daughter Lilibet, a nod to the Queen’s family nickname. The couple saw the Queen during their Platinum Jubilee visit in June, where they introduced her to Lilibet for the first time.
“We have a really special relationship,” Harry told The Today Show in April. “We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else.”
Meghan touched on her relationship with the Queen in her March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey. “The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me,” Meghan said. “I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her, and I went on the train. And we had breakfast together that morning, and she gave me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company, and I know we were in the car—yeah, she gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace—and we were in the car going between engagements. And she has a blanket that sits across her, her knees, for warmth and it was chilly and she was like, ‘Meghan, come on,’ and put it over my knees as well.”
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.