How Prince Harry's Tribute to Late Grandma Queen Elizabeth Paid Homage to Her Last Christmas Speech

·3 min read
How Prince Harry's Tribute to Late Grandma Queen Elizabeth Paid Homage to Her Last Christmas Speech

Prince Harry used his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's own words in his touching tribute to her following her death on Thursday at age 96.

In his personal statement shared on the Archewell Foundation website Monday, The Duke of Sussex, 37, quoted part of his late grandmother's 2021 Christmas speech, which would be her final holiday address to the nation.

"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,' " Harry's statement said.

The monarch's Christmas speech is a tradition started by King George V in 1932 as a radio broadcast. The first televised message was broadcast live in 1957 by Queen Elizabeth, who carried on the tradition from her father.

The sweet nod came after Harry began his statement, "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."

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"She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy," Harry continued.

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prince harry, queen elizabeth
prince harry, queen elizabeth

Karwai Tang/WireImage; Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty

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Harry then said that his memories with his "Granny" ranged from his own childhood to when the Queen met his own children, 3-year-old son Archie Harrison and 1-year-old daughter Lilibet Diana, who was named after the monarch's family nickname.

"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," he continued. "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," Harry concluded. "We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."

The monarch's death came shortly after that of her husband, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99 in April 2021. They were married for 73 years.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry

Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry in 2019

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Harry arrived at Balmoral Castle in Scotland following the public announcement of the Queen's death there on Thursday. He joined other members of the royal family at the royal residence, including father King Charles, 73, and brother Prince William.

He and wife Meghan Markle were scheduled to attend the WellChild Awards in London on Thursday before hearing the news of the Queen's health. They traveled from their California home to Europe earlier in the week for a series of visits with their longstanding charitable organizations.

On Saturday, Harry and Meghan, 41, joined William and Kate Middleton — the new Prince and Princess of Wales — at Windsor Castle to view flowers and other tributes to Queen Elizabeth left by members of the public. They also greeted well-wishers who were lined up outside the royal residence.

Kensington Palace said that William invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join him and Kate, both 40.

Prince William thought the walkabout to greet the crowds "was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family," a royal source told PEOPLE.