“My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm — and also because you never knew what he might say next,” the Duke of Sussex said of Prince Philip in a statement shared with HuffPost.
“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke,” Harry continued. “But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”
“He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage,” he added. “And while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’”
“So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself,” he concluded. “You will be sorely missed, but always remembered — by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”
Harry signed off his statement with ‘Per Mare, Per Terram,’ which is the motto for the Royal Marines and means “By Sea, By Land.” Philip, a former Royal Navy officer, served as captain general for the Royal Marines for more than 64 years before handing over the position to Harry.
The Duke of Sussex served in the Army for 10 years and saw two tours of Afghanistan. He was forced to give up his role as captain general of the Royal Marines, along with other honorary military appointments and royal patronages, in February after confirming that both he and Meghan Markle would not be returning to royal duties following their step back.
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell site was updated “in loving memory” of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday after the palace announced his death.
“Thank you for your service,” Harry said in his statement, which was posted on the site. “You will be greatly missed.”
A spokesperson for the Sussexes confirmed to HuffPost on Saturday that Harry, who lives in Montecito, California, would return to the United Kingdom for his grandfather’s funeral.
As of Monday, the duke is staying at his U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage, and following all relevant COVID-19 protocols prior to the service.
The Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, was not able to get medical clearance from her physician to travel alongside Harry.
In a statement separate from Harry’s on Monday, William also shared sweet memories of the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday, alongside a photo of his late grandfather and his son, Prince George. The picture was taken by Kate Middleton at Norfolk in 2015, according to Kensington Palace.
“I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her,” the Duke of Cambridge added, saying that he “will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”
William signed off by calling Philip “an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation.”
“Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead,” he said. “I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”