Prince Harry released a personal statement on Monday following the passing of his beloved ‘Granny’, Queen Elizabeth, who died aged 96.
“Grandma, as this latest parting brings us great sadness, I am eternally grateful for all of our first encounters – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as 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 treasured the times he spent with Queen Elizabeth and said his loss was felt by the world, also noting his father’s new role as King Charles III.
“Thank you for your contagious smile,” he said. “We too smile knowing that you and Grandpa are reunited now, and both of you at 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 surname “Lilibet”.
The two children are now technically ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ after the Queen’s death, although it is unclear if King Charles will change protocols.
Both Harry and Meghan have spoken of their very close relationship with the Queen, which continued after the two retired as working royals and moved to North America.
Meghan opened up 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 “amazing” to “be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her, but the love and respect he has for her as his grand- mother”.
“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 memory of his beloved “grandmother”.
While mourning the world’s loss of an “extraordinary leader”, the King said that “I have however lost a grandmother”.
“She was by my side in 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 a while before the reality of life without a grandma really feels real.”
After the Prince of Wales’ statement was released, William and Kate, Princess of Wales, had a surprise reunion with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor.
The former “Fab Four,” who were all dressed in black, interacted with members of the public who had gathered to pay their respects. The royal family also saw flower arrangements left behind by well-wishers.
During the walk, the Princess of Wales got emotional, telling a story about her youngest son, Prince Louis, who said: “At least Gan-Gan is with his great-grandfather now. ”