It is well known that since Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, there has been tension in the royal family. This tension extended so far that many were unsure whether or not Harry would attend his own grandfather's funeral. While Harry attended the funeral, Markle stayed away.
Harry and Meghan stepped down from their roles as senior royals and moved to the US in March 2020, just before the COVID-19 lockdown rules were implemented. However, before this, Harry and his grandfather, Prince Philip, had a warm relationship.
The prince and his grandfather had been close throughout Harry's childhood, and their relationship continued to Harry's adulthood. On many royal outings, the pair laughed and joked with one another.
Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the wedding of Edward van Cutsem and Lady Tamara Grosvenor on November 6, 2004 in Chester, England. | Source: Getty Images
The relationship between Prince Harry and Prince Philip stemmed from the support Prince Philip offered his grandsons when their mother died when they were young boys. Prince Philip understood the pain because his mother was committed to an asylum when he was ten.
Because of the close relationship that Harry had with his grandfather, it was necessary for him for his grandfather to approve of the relationship that he was pursuing with Markle. At first, Prince Philip liked Markle and welcomed her into the family.
Prince Philip understood what it was like to marry into the royal family and showed support to anyone who had to do the same, including Markle. While Philip initially liked Markle, the couple's actions disappointed him.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images
Prince Philip understood what it was like to marry into the royal family and showed support to anyone who had to do the same, including Markle. He even postponed a hip surgery to attend Harry’s and Meghan’s wedding. But the couple’s actions disappointed him, and when they left the royal duties and the country, their relationship with the consort of the British monarch deteriorated.
Philip was upset by the couple’s decision because he could not understand or relate to what Harry was doing. Duke of Edinburgh had dedicated his life to the royal family and expected his grandson to do the same. Moreover, he was also deeply hurt by how the couple treated the Queen because Harry and Meghan didn’t consult with Her Majesty before announcing their decision to leave the country.
ATTENDING PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL
Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service on December 25, 2017 in King's Lynn, England. | Source: Getty Images
Even though Harry's relationship with his grandfather and the rest of his family suffered because he decided to step down as a senior royal, Harry was still heartbroken when his grandfather passed away in April 2021.
Although fans of the royal family had wondered whether or not Harry would attend his grandfather's funeral because of all the drama that went on when Harry and Markle moved to the US, Harry had no doubts about attending the funeral.
Harry made it clear that despite everything that had transpired between the royal family, he would not hesitate to return to England to be with his family when his grandfather died. He kept this promise.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the United Nations Headquarters on July 18, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
However, Markle did not join Harry in attending his grandfather's funeral. This gained mass media attention while rumors began flying about possible reasons why Markle would not attend the funeral, but the couple explained her absence away.
Markle explained that she would have loved to be in attendance at Prince Phillip's funeral to support her husband and made every effort to do so, but was unfortunately not given medical clearance from her doctor. Markle was too heavily pregnant with the couple's daughter at the time to travel.
A ROYAL REACTION
Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images
Although the Queen was happy and grateful that her grandson would attend the funeral, she was also glad Markle would not attend. She said to her royal aides:
“Thank goodness Meghan isn't coming."
Because Harry now identified as a private citizen, he had been stripped of his military titles and could not dress in uniform. This, coupled with the fact that Prince Andrew was embroiled in a scandal of his own, meant that all the male members of the royal family had to dress in morning suits for the funeral.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence follow Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's coffin (draped in his Royal Standard Flag and bearing his Royal Navy cap, sword and a bouquet of lilies, white roses, freesia and sweet peas) as it is carried on a specially designed Land Rover Defender hearse during his funeral procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021. | Source: Getty Images
Harry's relationship with his grandfather was not the only one that was affected when he left the royal family. Prince Harry and Prince William's relationship also suffered, so the brothers were seated separately at the funeral.
After Markle and Harry left for the US and released an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, it was no wonder that when the royal family found out that Markle would not be attending Prince Philip's funeral, they weren't upset about it.
The royal family was aware that Markle's attending could have resulted in much unwanted negative attention from the press. The royals simply acknowledged that Markle tended to "create a spectacle."
THE QUEEN'S WISHES
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales kisses his son Prince Harry as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge looks on at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony at Queen Elizabeth II Park on September 10, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Although the Queen was hurt by Markle and Harry's exit from the royal family, she would love for her beloved grandson and his wife to come back to live in England, even if they do not assume senior royal roles again.
It has been speculated that the Queen used her Platinum Jubilee to "reingratiate" Markle and Harry into the royal family. The couple will not be able to rejoin The Firm, but they will hopefully be able to be accepted back into the family as a whole.
Many royal advisors think that Harry and Markle attending the Platinum Jubilee was the right decision and was a "baby step" in the right direction for the family. Royal authors believe that The Firm is more prominent than Harry and Markle, and it will therefore be up to The Firm to accept them back into the family.
Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrive at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference on February 13, 2014 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
When Prince Charles ascends the throne, it is believed that he might need Harry and Markle to help him. They are believed to be assets to the family because they attract a younger fan base.
While this is all speculation, it will remain to be seen whether or not Harry and Markle will return to England at all.
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