Prince Philip: Meghan and Harry will be ’heartbroken’ says expert
The Duke of Sussexes has reportedly been in touch with his cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and relayed his intention to fly to the UK for the ceremony. The tragic death of his grandfather on Friday came just over a month after Harry and Meghan publicly aired their grievances in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
After the prince admitted in the programme that his relationship with his father and brother was strained, US TV presenter Gayle King revealed Harry had spoken to Charles and William on the phone.
However, the talks aimed at rebuilding bridge were sadly unproductive.
But now royal experts have said the huge loss of Philip could be an opportunity for the Royal Family to once again band together and mend fractured relationships.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said a “show of unity” is vital for repairing the rift following the “very damaging” remarks made by the Sussexes in their Oprah tell-all.
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Prince Harry jokes around with his grandfather Prince Philip
He suggested the Royal Family could come out of this tragedy stronger than it was before.
He told MailOnline: “Harry will undoubtedly want to be there and this might start a process which helped to heal the current royal rift.
“His grandfather would undoubtedly welcome it if the monarchy, the institution he spent his life supporting, was strengthened as a result of the start of a reconciliation which began after his death.”
And royal author Penny Junor appeared equally hopeful that Philip’s death could pave the way for a healing of relations.
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She said if members of the Royal Family put their differences aside and instead commit to work through the huge loss together, it could “win the day”.
She said: “My hope is that if something good can come out of the Duke’s death it will be that it brings the family together.
“But clearly there is a lot of hurt there on all sides, and I imagine they will all be feeling apprehensive about seeing one another again.
“With luck, their desire to support the Queen and pull together for her sake, which I am sure is what the Duke would have wanted, will win the day.”
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The Duchess of Sussex will reportedly not attend the funeral after doctors advised against making the flight to the UK.
Harry is expected to make the journey from the couple’s home in California and will be following Covid-19 protocols for the trip, as well as during his visit.
Meghan, 39, is heavily pregnant with their second baby and is thought to be due as early as June.
It is understood that Meghan made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.
Prince Philip’s royal timeline
The last time the Sussexes saw Philip was more than a year ago before they departed for their new life abroad.
Philip’s funeral will take place next Saturday, April 17, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The coffin, borne on the Land Rover, will be flanked by pallbearers drawn from the duke’s special relationships – the Royal Marines, regiments, corps and air stations.
Prince Philip and the Queen were married for more than 73 years
The procession from the state entrance to the west steps of St George’s Chapel will take eight minutes.
The route of the procession will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.
Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.