Prince Harry is paying tribute to Prince Philip, who was simply known as "grandpa." After arriving safely in the U.K. to attend the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on April 17, Harry broke his silence on his grandfather's April 2 death at the age of 99 in a statement released via the Archwell Foundation, the organization he founded with his wife, Meghan Markle.
In the statement shared Monday, the Due of Sussex fondly remembered "a man of service, honour and great humour" who was "authentically himself." Providing some rare insight into the royal, Harry said his grandfather had "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." While Harry said his grandfather would be remembered "as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke," to him and to others who "have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, the legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end." Harry also reflected on his grandparents' relationship, noting that Philip "has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion" through their 73 years of marriage.
"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 continued. "So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed but always remembered—by the nation and the world."
Harry ended his tribute by writing that he, his wife, their 2-year-old song Archie, and "(your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts." He concluded the message by writing, "Per Mare, Per Terram," which is Latin for "By, By Land" and is the Royal Marines' motto. The Sun notes that Harry took over Captain of the Marines' role from the Queen in 2017, succeeding his grandfather, who had held the post for 64 years.
Harry's tribute to his grandfather came just hours after he arrived in the U.K. for his funeral, set to take place on Saturday. The trip marked his first time traveling home in more than a year and follows his interview with Oprah Winfrey. His wife will not be attending, as her physician advised her not to travel overseas amid her second pregnancy.