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Prince Harry released his first statement regarding the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth. King Charles III’s second son recalled his “granny” and spoke of her “infectious smile” and “sound advice” in a series of official remarks. Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 on Sept. 8, 2022. She ascended to the throne in 1952 and served as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry at the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor to Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, England.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry | Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry rushed to be near Queen Elizabeth during her last moments

As senior family members, including his father, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, and Prince William rushed to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Prince Harry traveled to his grandmother’s side.

He and Meghan Markle were scheduled to attend the WellChild Awards in London on Thursday — where Harry was due to give a speech — but canceled their appearance after news of the queen’s declining health broke early on Thursday.

According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, the Duchess of Sussex was not invited to join the royal family at the holiday estate.

“It’s understood that the family wanted Prince Harry to be there, even though he was unable to get to Balmoral in time to see his grandmother,” royal expert Katie Nicholl said. “But Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was not, we understand, invited to join the family. She has said she would go to Balmoral another time. But I think it is quite significant that Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral alone without his wife.” 

Harry did not arrive in time to see Queen Elizabeth before her death, arriving after she passed. He remained at Balmoral overnight and was the first royal to leave, heading back to his wife just 12 hours after landing.

Prince Harry releases a statement to ‘Granny’ after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Royal reporter Omid Scobie tweeted an official statement from Prince Harry regarding the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

“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, 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. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor 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 concluded.

Royal watchers react to Harry’s heartfelt message

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry pose for a photograph at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015 in London, England.
Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth | Julian Simmonds – WPA Pool / Getty Images

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Royal watchers responded to Harry’s heartfelt message in the comments section of the Twitter thread.

“Prince Harry is easily the best Royal now. Any other answer is, of course, wrong,” wrote one follower.

“That’s such a lovely tribute. Brought a tear to my eye,” penned a second Harry fan.

“What beautiful, heartfelt words. My heart breaks for Prince Harry,” claimed a third Twitter user.

“Harry always with a human touch,” noted a fourth fan of the heartfelt way the Duke of Sussex remembered his late grandmother.