The couple posted a short but sweet tribute to Harry’s paternal grandfather on their Archewell website hours after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, died peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday.
The website offers no other content but the poignant message that says: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh,” with the years 1921 to 2021. “Thank you for your service… You will be greatly missed.”
People magazine reports that Harry is expected to travel to the U.K. for the funeral service, which will be held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It will be the first time he’s been back in over a year after moving to California last year and stepping down as a senior member of the royal family. If he does travel, it’s expected he’ll have to quarantine and be tested twice, due to the pandemic.
A source close to Harry told the tabloid the Daily Mail, “Harry will absolutely do his utmost to get back to the U.K. and be with his family. He will want nothing more than to be there for his family, and particularly his grandmother, during this awful time.”
It’s unclear if Meghan will join him for the funeral — or if she is even able to, as she’s pregnant with their second child after suffering a miscarriage last year.
The same Daily Mail source said, “Meghan is obviously pregnant so she will need to take advice from her doctors about whether it is safe for her to travel, but I think Harry will definitely go.”
Harry, 36, had a close relationship with his grandfather, the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family and father to Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. After Harry’s mother Princess Diana died, Philip made a point of spending time with his grandsons, especially participating in outdoor activities, according to The Diana Chronicles. In photographs of royal outings, Harry would often be captured smiling in Philip’s company.
It’s unclear how often they spoke after Harry moved to the states — or in the wake of the couple’s Oprah Winfrey interview.
Philip had been very ill in February into March necessitating a four-week hospitalization, during which he also had a heart procedure. He had retired from public duty in 2017, but attended important family events and milestones. He was there for Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding, just after having a hip replacement, and was in the photo released by the couple announcing Archie’s name after his May 2019 birth.
Buckingham Palace released a statement Friday announcing Philip’s death. It said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
It continued, “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter an eight-day period of mourning after the death of her husband of 73 years. That means she’ll refrain from carrying out any royal duties during that period. The funeral, which was said to have been meticulously planned before his death, will take place St. George’s Chapel. There will not be a state funeral or a public lying in state, but a more low-key event known officially as a royal ceremonial funeral.
The U.K. is also expected to go into a period of 10 days of mourning. And the royal household will be in a period of mourning for 30 days, pausing any social engagements. They are expected to wear black or mourning armbands — and members of parliament are also expected to wear the band, along with black ties for men.
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