Tensions have been high between Prince Harry and the royal family since he and his wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, officially left their senior royal titles behind in 2020 and sat down for an incendiary interview with Oprah Winfrey. That's why since the news broke that Prince Philip had died, many have been wondering whether Harry would be attending his grandfather's funeral.
“Harry was extremely close to his grandfather,” a source told The New York Post. “He will, of course, be there, no matter how difficult relations are between the Sussexes and the family.”
The Sussexes released a statement mourning Prince Philip's passing, dedicating the website for their nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, to the "loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021.”
“Thank you for your service … You will be greatly missed,” the couple wrote. Refinery29 has reached out to the Sussexes for further comment.
It isn't clear if Markle would even be able to accompany her husband to the funeral if she wanted, as the couple's second child's due date is coming up this summer. A 12-hour trip from their home in California to England during a global pandemic would have to be cleared by a doctor, per The Post.
Tinging all of this sudden news is the ongoing issue of COVID-19, which will likely make the funeral a much different affair than the royal family has traditionally organized in the past. As is custom when there's a royal death, many people have been laying bouquets outside Buckingham Palace, and the royal household staff placed a framed notice announcing the duke's death on the front gates of the palace. However, due to the pandemic restrictions, the royal family asked that people consider making a donation to charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of the late Prince Philip, and removed the framed notice after an hour to avoid any large gatherings of people.
In an April 9 statement, Buckingham Palace wrote, "During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen. Details will be confirmed in due course."
Some traditions will remain unaffected. Queen Elizabeth is reportedly expected to enter an eight-day mourning period for her husband of 73 years, during which she won't be carrying out any royal duties. At the same time, the country will go into a mourning period of 10 days, the royal household will do so for 30 days, and guardsmen and members of Parliament will be wearing black armbands on their tunics. Additionally, The Sun reports that news anchors will wear black clothes on TV, some comedy shows will be suspended, and "more somber music will be played on the radio" during the period of mourning.