The Duke of Sussex, 37, paid tribute to the queen’s “unwavering grace and dignity” in a farewell message posted to his and his wife’s Archewell website.
Describing his “granny” as a “guiding compass” in her service and duty, the prince said he was grateful for the “special moments” they shared.
In his statement, Prince Harry echoed words spoken by the queen after the passing of her husband Prince Philip: “Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.”
He said: “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.
There have been questions as to whether the queen had a chance to meet her youngest great-grandchild, one-year-old Lilibet, who was born to Harry and his wife Meghan Markle in 2021.
However, the BBC reports that the Sussexes had the chance to introduce their daughter — who was named the queen’s childhood nickname — when the family made their first return trip to the U.K. for the Platinum Jubilee festivities in June.
Beloved Toronto metal music fan dies after three hospital visits in 10 days
Top of the class: Here are Canada’s most popular baby names in 2022
The statement comes two days after Harry and Meghan joined Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Prince and Princess of Wales) at Windsor Castle to greet well-wishers and view the tributes left outside the castle gates.
The two sons of King Charles, once so close after the death of their mother Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997, have fallen out in recent years after Harry and Meghan gave up their royal titles to move to the United States.
A spokesperson for the heir to the throne said an invitation for the Windsor walkabout had been extended by William.
A royal source described it as an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family. They emerged from the same car, all wearing black.
The two couples did not interact much during the 40-minute walkabout near one of the queen’s favourite English homes, as they stopped to read messages left among the flowers, and shake hands and chat with the thousands of people lining the Long Walk.
As for the rest of Harry’s statement, he thanked his grandmother for her “commitment to service … sound advice … and infectious smile.
“We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
— With files from Reuters