Prince Harry, whose explosive interview alongside his wife Meghan plunged the royal family into its biggest crisis in decades, has arrived back in Britain for Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.
Philip, the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday.
Harry, Philip’s grandson, arrived in London on Sunday from Los Angeles on a British Airways flight, The Sun newspaper reported. Buckingham Palace said Meghan, who is pregnant, will not attend on the advice of her doctor.
Harry, sixth in line to the throne, will quarantine in accordance with coronavirus guidelines so that he can attend the ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle.
Interviewed by Oprah Winfrey last month, Meghan said her pleas for help while she felt suicidal were ignored and that an unnamed member of the family had asked how dark their unborn child’s skin might be.
Harry also bemoaned his family’s reaction to their decision to step back from official duties and move to Los Angeles.
In response, Queen Elizabeth said the royals were saddened by the challenging experiences of her grandson and Meghan and promised to privately address revelations about a racist remark about their son.
Philip, who died aged 99, is lying at rest in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.
On Saturday, the coffin, covered by Philip’s standard, a wreath, his naval cap and his sword, will be moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a bearer party from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Prince Charles and other members of the royal family will take part in a procession on foot behind the coffin, which will be carried by a specially modified Land Rover that Philip helped to design. The queen, 94, will not walk in the procession.
As the coffin reaches St George’s Chapel at Windsor, Britain will observe a minute of silence. There will be no public processions, and the funeral will be held entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle and limited to 30 mourners in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
A spring snow storm on Monday struck Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth pondered the loss of her husband of 73 years.
Her son Prince Andrew said on Sunday the queen was stoical in the face of a loss that she had described as “having left a huge void in her life”.
Andrew joined his siblings Charles, Anne and Edward in saying they had taken strength from a national outpouring of affection and would rally around their mother in her time of grief.
Charles on Saturday paid tribute to his “dear Papa” who had given such devoted service to Queen Elizabeth, to the royal family, to Britain and to the Commonwealth, expressing gratitude for touching praise of his father.