Britain’s Prince Harry on Monday paid loving tribute to his grandfather Prince Philip, describing him as “a man of service, honour and great humour,” after flying back to the United Kingdom ahead of the funeral on Saturday.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh died at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, following a recent stay in hospital. He was 99.
“My grandfather was a man of service, honor and great humor,” the 36-year-old said in a statement on Monday.
“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,” Harry recalled fondly.
“He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke,” he said of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband.
“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,” Harry said.
“He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, 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!’” he recalled.
“So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself,” Harry wrote.
“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,” he said.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex ended his statement with “Per Mare, Per Terram” — the motto of the UK’s Royal Marines that means “By Sea, By Land.”
Prince Philip reportedly maintained close ties with the military community throughout his lifetime after completing his naval service in 1953, including holding the position of Captain General of the Royal Marines.