Prince Harry is currently quarantining but he will be allowed to attend the funeral on compassionate grounds.
Prince Philip's death is a loss too big to fill for the British royal family. The Queen has said that the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, has "left a huge void in her life," according to the Daily Telegraph. Prince Philip passed away peacefully at the age of 99 in Windsor Castle on April 9. His funeral will take place on April 17 and Prince Harry, the grandson of the Queen who has been living in California, has reportedly reached the UK to be with his family.
Harry, 36, reached the UK on April 11. This is his first time back in the UK in almost a year after he ended his engagements as a senior royal. It will also be the first time that he will be seeing his family since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, had the controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey. Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, didn't travel with Harry as she's heavily pregnant with their second child, a baby girl, according to People.
Prince Philip reportedly had seen the Winfrey interview and had strong opinions on it. The Duke of Edinburgh thought that "no good would come of it," according to the Daily Mail. He reportedly said it was "not the right thing, either for the country or for themselves" but later accepted "it's his life." Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth wrote that the 99-year-old thought of the interview as "madness."
"But Philip was sympathetic to Harry's distrust of the media and supportive of his desire to 'do his own thing in his own way'. He said to me: 'People have got to lead their lives as they think best,'" said Brandreth.
Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, has been lying at rest at Windsor Castle. The funeral will take place on April 17 at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Duke of Sussex "will be attending" the funeral and added that Markle "has been advised by her physician not to travel."
Harry traveled back as soon as he could in order to quarantine before the funeral, as per the SUN. He is reportedly going to stay at Nottingham Cottage, where he and his wife once stayed. "Family conversations now will be on the passing of Prince Philip — and nothing else. The Queen has declared royal mourning for two weeks so it’s quite clear that is the focus. Conversations will be private but the focus will be on emotional matters of dealing with a father and grandfather," an insider said.
Prince Harry is expected to be in quarantine for ten days but he can leave it after five days if he provides a negative test under the Government’s approved Test to Release scheme. The COVID guidelines also allow those coming from abroad to leave the isolation "on compassionate grounds." The guidance added, "This includes attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend." However, he will have to continue to self-isolate after the funeral until the end of his quarantine period.
On April 17, Philip's coffin will be processed through Windsor Castle, royal officials confirmed to People. The funeral will be broadcast live at 3 pm UK time (10 am ET). At around 2:40 pm in the UK (9:40 am ET), his coffin will be moved in a small ceremonial procession from the state entrance to the castle to the chapel. The funeral will be a ceremonial royal funeral and not a state funeral, which is meant for monarchs. The royal family will be following COVID guidelines and the event is "much reduced in scale with no public access," a palace spokesman said.
Harry's father, Prince Charles, is reportedly "looking forward" to a reunion with his youngest son. "I’m sure Charles will be very happy to see him. It’s been more than a year now," said a source to the SUN.
Prince Philip will be honored with a statue on The Mall in central London and the Members of the Parliament have supported the idea. Reportedly, all parties have supported the move, with one saying it would be a "fitting tribute to mark a lifetime of public service and duty."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Phil Walter