Prince Philip: Harry expected to return to UK for grandfather’s funeral but Meghan ‘unlikely to attend’

Royal commentators think Duke of Sussex will fly home to be with his family

Rory Sullivan
Saturday 10 April 2021 15:43 BST
Prince Philip's death announced at Buckingham Palace

Prince Harry is likely to return to England for Prince Philip’s funeral later this month but it is unlikely his wife Meghan Markle will do the same because of her pregnancy, royal commentators have said.

The Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday morning just two months before his 100th birthday, with tributes quickly pouring in from across the world.

World leaders including US president Joe Biden commended his service, charity work and dedication to the Queen.

The duke’s grandson, who now lives with his family in Montecito, California, is expected to fly back to the UK to attend his grandfather’s funeral, which will be pared back due to the pandemic.

Unless he is granted a diplomatic exemption, the prince will be required to self-isolate upon his arrival for a minimum of five days, after which he can leave quarantine if he tests negative for the virus.

One source told The Daily Mirror that he had spoken to his cousins Beatrice and Eugenie, saying he wanted to be with his family.

“He said he wants to be with everyone and was already making arrangements to come home,” they added. 

Similarly, another royal insider toldThe Daily Mailon Friday that Prince Harry will “absolutely do his utmost” to be with his family at “this awful time”.

Angela Levin, a royal biographer, told PA: “I wonder if Prince Harry will come over, I would imagine he would.”

“I don’t expect Meghan to,” she added, implying she would be advised against travel because she is pregnant.

The comments come a month on from the couple’s divisive interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they opened up about the difficulties of their life in the UK, more than a year on from their decision to quit royal duties.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said he thinks the funeral could help the family get over its rift, as it would offer them “a comparative bit of privacy”.

He told Times Radio: “Many a family gather and get over tension and broken relationships at the time of a funeral. Something very profound unites them all again. And that would be true for this family, I’m sure.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid tribute to Philip on Friday by adding these words to the website of their charitable foundation Archewell: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021

“Thank you for your service... You will be greatly missed.”

The Independent has reached out to a representative for the Sussexes for further comment.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is likely to take place on Saturday 17 April, with details expected to confirmed this weekend.

In ordinary times, there would have been a military procession in London to mark Prince Philip’s time in the Navy and a funeral attended by world leaders.

However, things will be different because of the coronavirus, with funerals currently limited to a maximum of 30 people, who have to be socially distanced if they are not from the same household or bubble.

Royal commentator Joe Little said he believed the Duke would have approved of this, as he “didn’t want all the pomp and pageantry”.

According to his wishes, Prince Philip’s coffin will not lie in state.

Additional reporting from PA

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