Prince Philip funeral: Meghan ‘will watch from home’ says expert
The pregnant Meghan was unable to attend Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday, after being advised against flying, but she sent a wreath of campanula, rosemary, lavender and roses, along with with a heartfelt handwritten note. While many saw this as a way for the Duchess of Sussex to pay her respects without being there personally, she was accused of leaking details of it to the press as a publicity stunt. Commentator Daniela Elsa wrote in the Australian news outlet news.com.au: “What is bewildering here is why and how, on a day which should have been resolved solely focusing on celebrating the Duke, that still something Sussex-related has managed to end up in the headlines.”
She continued: “While Buckingham Palace has revealed a cavalcade of specifics about yesterday’s proceedings, everything from precise timings to where exactly Philips valets would be standing, no particulars about the other eight wreaths that were placed in the chapel have been released.
“The appearance here is that even at this moment of mourning someone Sussex-adjacent has seen the wreath and Meghan’s note as an opportunity to drum up some good PR, hardly edifying stuff.”
However, Meghan fans jumped to her defence, fuming at the “hateful” attack on the Duchess trying to do a nice thing.
One fan branded Ms Elsa an “ignorant, hateful person who does not like the Duchess of Sussex” and how the incident “just proves it doesn’t matter what she does, gets attacked, yes attacked”.
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The Sussexes have been embroiled in a wreath row before
Wreaths laid in St George’s Chapel for Prince Philip
Another said: “If…it had transpired…that Meghan had not sent a wreath. Run that scenario, what would you say then?”
A third said: “Meghan is gracious, handwriting her condolences with a lovely thought-out very personal wreath.”
However, this is not the first time the Sussexes have been embroiled in a row over wreaths.
In November, Prince Harry was “deeply saddened” when his request to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday was rejected by the Royal Family, according to the Sunday Times.
Prince Charles laying a wreath on the Cenotaph in November 2020
The decision was reportedly taken because he is no longer a working member of the Royal Family.
At the scaled-back event at the Cenotaph, Prince Charles laid his own wreath and one on behalf of the Queen, who watched from a nearby balcony.
Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward also laid wreaths, each on behalf of different branches of the Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry marked the sombre date by visiting the Los Angeles National Cemetery and laying a wreath by the graves of two Commonwealth soldiers.
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Meghan and Harry laid a wreath in a Los Angeles cemetary instead
He also marked Remembrance Day by appearing on the Declassified Podcast alongside other veterans and members of the military.
At the time, royal expert Gemma at The Royal Edit pointed out that royals lay wreaths at the Cenotaph on behalf of others, not themselves.
She wrote on Instagram: “I think it’s really important to remember that members of the Royal Family aren’t laying wreaths at the Cenotaph personally, but rather on behalf of others.
“For example, Her Majesty’s is on behalf of the nation, this year Prince William’s was on behalf of the RAF and Anne’s was on behalf of the Navy.
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“So it wouldn’t make sense for Harry to have one laid for him personally ‒ it’s always for organisations or the public.
“The whole thing, the alleged request and then the reaction to it seems to be missing this quite important point.”
Prince Harry was in the Army for 10 years and has a deep personal connection to the military.
However, he was forced to relinquish his military appointments as part of his and Meghan’s exit from their roles as senior royals.
Everyone wore black suits with medals instead of military uniforms to Prince Philip’s funeral
It is understood that he was devastated by this.
When it came to his grandfather’s funeral, protocol dictates that he would not have been allowed to wear a military uniform to the event, just a suit with his medals attached.
However, the Queen made the executive decision to ban all military uniforms, perhaps to spare his embarrassment, and instead everyone wore a black suit.