Queen Elizabeth II dies: Prince Harry releases first statement since grandmother’s death

LONDON — Britain’s Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has released his first statement since the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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According to The Associated Press, the 37-year-old royal called the queen, who died Thursday at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, a “guiding compass” who was committed to “service and duty.”

“She was globally admired and respected,” he wrote in the statement shared Monday on the website for Archewell, the organization he founded with his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. “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.’”

The statement continued: “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.”

Harry, now fifth in line to the throne, went on to acknowledge his father, saying, “And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III.”

The message ended on a personal note.

“Thank you for your commitment to service,” he wrote. “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.”

>> Read the complete statement here

The Associated Press contributed to this report.