'Thank you for your infectious smile': Prince Harry pays emotional tribute to 'granny' Queen Elizabeth
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry broke his silence and wrote a moving tribute for his late grandmother. Her Majesty breathed her last on Thursday, September 8, at Balmoral castle in Scotland. Harry had rushed to be at her side but reached only after she had passed away. The Duke of Sussex was the only member of the Queen's immediate blood family who wasn't with her during her last moments.
Harry had made a surprise appearance with his wife Meghan, as he joined the new Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate, on the walkabout outside Windsor on Saturday, Sept 10. Following this, on September 12, he released a statement that said, “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.’”
The father-of-two went on to note, “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,” Harry added.
The tribute from Harry was released as the coffin of the late monarch transported to St Giles' Cathedral from the Palace of Holyroodhouse for a service of thanksgiving. Alison Johnstone, Scottish Parliament's presiding officer, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the parliament will “come together to express through a motion of condolence our deepest condolences to His Majesty the King and to the royal family. The tone will be respectful. This afternoon gives us an opportunity to reflect on the life of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, to pay gratitude for that life and to ensure that the royal family have the support... the heartfelt sympathies of the Scottish people.”
Edinburgh City Council leader Cammy Day has indicated that the service will witness a lot of people. “We're expecting tens of thousands of people to be up and down the high street as Her Majesty comes up to St Giles' and then onwards from there tomorrow. Our advice to people is to get to the city centre as quickly and early as you can (and) use public transport because the city has diversions or road closures. We are looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of people to give Her Majesty the send off that the city will give her,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross added, “The Queen loved Scotland and Scotland loved the Queen and I think we showed that yesterday. I think we'll see that again today with the service of thanksgiving, and I think it is a fitting tribute to the late Queen that Scotland is able to play this role at this early part in the national mourning.”