Duchess Meghan Markle watched the funeral from her home in California as she couldn't travel to the UK.
Which family doesn't fight? Every family has misunderstandings from time to time and people end up hurting each other. The point is to forgive, forget, and heal from those incidents.
However, when conversations end up being racist or discriminatory, then things cannot be so easy. Yet the young Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to set aside their pain and be there for their family.
The Sussexes had created quite a bit of stir with their tell-all interview. While many admired their courage to be honest, some thought it was wrong to air their thoughts publically. News reports also revealed that there was anger in the Royal Family over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's chat with Oprah Winfrey. However, in times of crisis, the couple have proven that blood is thicker than the grapevine. Prince Harry flew from California to the UK to attend his grandfather's funeral on April 17th.
However, his wife couldn't make it as she is pregnant and was adviced by her doctor to not travel. That doesn't mean she wasn't thinking of Prince Philip. She had planned to watch the funeral from her home in California, according to Good Morning America. She and Prince Harry had moved there last year after stepping down as senior royals. Markle sent a handwritten note through Harry for Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, along with a wreath chosen by her.
The wreath was made by Willow Crossley, a floral designer who had made the floral arrangements for Harry and Meghan's wedding and their son's christening. The wreath included flowers that represent Prince Philip's Greek heritage, his service to the Royal Marines, and June, the month of his birth.
The duchess had reportedly become close to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, according to ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie. "We know that she’s supporting Harry in this very difficult week for him, but she’ll also be sad because this is also the loss of a family member for her," said Scobie. "She grew very close to the queen and Prince Philip over the recent years. It was probably her strongest relationship within the family and those relations then get smaller this week," he said, before the funeral. "It’ll be a sad day for her."
There were some questions about her decision to not travel to the UK, but Scobie said it should not be seen as a snub. She is pregnant for the third time and having suffered a miscarriage the second time, it is understandable that she would want to be very careful.
"If there’s one thing that has remained constant throughout all of the turbulence of the past year it’s Harry and Meghan’s close relationship with the queen and Prince Philip," he said. "Although Meghan isn’t here, she is of course supporting Harry. Her mind is very much on the situation over here," he added.
Prince Philip had reportedly been very welcoming to both Princess Diana and Markle, having been an outsider himself. "Philip welcomed Meghan at the beginning, he knows what it's like to be an outsider, and so he's always very supportive of people marrying into the family," biographer Ingrid Seward said, as per ABC Australia.
Even during the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview, Harry and Markle were quick to say that the Queen and Philip had been supportive of them. However, Philip reportedly held different opinions privately and didn't approve of their decision to step back.
"Philip's way is that he says his bit, and then steps back from the situation because he doesn't like to interfere," Seward said. "It was up to Harry and Meghan to listen, but they didn't, and Philip has always been very protective of the Queen, so if anyone upsets her, they upset him too. His mantra is: The monarchy comes first, second, and third," she added.
The generational gap between them might be the reason why Philip prized the monarchy above all else. He had feared that their decision would affect the family as Edward VIII's decision had when he chose to give up the crown in 1936.
"For Philip, whose entire existence has been based on a devotion to doing his duty, it appeared that his grandson had abdicated his for the sake of his marriage in much the same way as Edward VIII gave up his crown to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936," Seward writes.
However, Philip was sympathetic with Harry and Markle's struggle with the media and the negative spotlight on them. Prince Philip's biographer and friend of 40 years, Gyles Brandreth, said that the prince consort had accepted the Sussexes' decision. "He said to me: 'People have got to lead their lives as they think best'," Brandreth said.
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