Prince Harry Remembers "Legend of Banter" Prince Philip in Touching Statement
Harry arrived in the U.K. without Meghan Markle to attend his grandfather's funeral.
Yesterday, April 11th, Prince Harry flew back to the U.K. for the first time since he and wife Meghan Markle officially left their senior royal duties behind. Harry will attend the funeral services for his grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on April 9th at the age of 99. After his arrival, Harry also released a statement on his grandfather's passing.
A royal spokesperson confirmed Harry's arrival to the U.K. but noted that Markle will be staying behind. "The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend," the spokesperson told People. "The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel."
Markle is pregnant with the Sussexes' second child—a girl—who is expected to arrive in late spring/early summer, therefore flying overseas from their new home in Los Angeles would be risky, even without the threat of coronavirus. The U.K. is just now easing out of its most recent lockdown, which started in early January, and 60% of the adult population has received their first vaccine dose. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is cautioning the public to remain vigilant and safe while the country reopens.
This is the first time Prince Harry has seen his family since his and Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey aired last month. In fact, it's been over a year since Harry has been to the U.K. at all. He and Markle decided to step away from the royal family due to a lack of support in regards to tabloid bullying and racism.
Despite this, Harry remained close with his grandparents and often chatted with them on Zoom. He wrote a heartfelt message about his grandfather, shared by royal reporter Omid Scobie and released this morning, saying that Prince Philip was the "master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end."
As of right now, the U.K. permits gatherings of 30 people, and the royal family plans on adhering to that guideline. It is expected that Prince Philip's immediate family will be the only ones in attendance at his Saturday, April 17th, funeral. More details about the guest list and eulogy speakers will be announced later this week.