Prince Harry in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Prince Harry spent 10 years in the Army, going on two tours of Afghanistan, with the Queen serving as Commander-in-Chief (Picture: PA).
The Queen

Prince Harry pays tribute to 'Granny' and his former Commander-in-Chief

Prince Harry in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Prince Harry spent 10 years in the Army, going on two tours of Afghanistan, with the Queen serving as Commander-in-Chief (Picture: PA).

Prince Harry has said he is "forever grateful" for his first meetings with the Queen, including as his Commander-in-Chief during his military career.

The Duke of Sussex said in both celebrating the Queen's life and 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," he said in his statement.

"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.'

"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.

Watch: Military leads commemorations with gun salutes for Queen Elizabeth II.

"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."

Prince Harry spent 10 years in the Army, going on two tours of Afghanistan, was a qualified Apache pilot and ended his military career at the rank of captain in June 2015, following a secondment to the Australian military.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, the then-Chief of the General Staff, said that Prince Harry had "achieved much in his 10 years as a soldier".

Watch: Military take part in proclamation of King Charles across the UK.

"He has been at the forefront throughout his service," he said.

Prince Harry also held a number of honorary military appointments but handed them back to the Queen following the decision taken by him and the Duchess of Sussex to stand down as senior members of the Royal Family.

These were:

  • Captain General Royal Marines
  • Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington
  • Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command

Prince Harry also received promotions in all three services, in June 2018, becoming a major in the British Army, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, and squadron leader in the Royal Air Force.

Harry has, however, now lost the honorary Navy and RAF ranks.