Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex thanks Queen Elizabeth II for ‘sound advice’ in emotional tribute following monarch's death at 96

The Duke of Sussex has paid an emotional tribute to his late grandmother the Queen as he thanked her for her “sound advice” and “infectious smile”.

Harry also described her as a “guiding compass” through her commitment to service and duty.

In a statement released on Monday, September 12 – which is understood to have been held back a day out of respect for the anniversary of September 11 – the duke also said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as King.

Harry 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.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, look at floral tributes laid by members of the public at Windsor Castle on September 10. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

“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.'”

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He added: “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.

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A photograph in memory of Queen Elizabeth II seen in the window of a shop in Windsor. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

“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.”

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The statement comes two days after the Duchess of Sussex and the duke joined the new Prince and Princess of Wales at Windsor Castle on Saturday, September 10.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex receives flowers from the crowds at Windsor Castle on September 10. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

It is understood the prince invited his brother to join them in meeting well-wishers outside the castle, and a royal source said William thought it was an “important show of unity”.