Harry Protects His Kids from Grieving over Late Grandma While Meghan Ponders Missing Funeral for Them, Says Commentator
After the Queen’s death on Thursday, September 8, there were suggestions that parents-of-two, Harry and Meghan were thinking about bringing their kids to their great-grandma’s funeral.
Harry, whose mother, Princess Diana's death led him to a tough life for decades, took grandma’s passing hard.
Harry’s wife Meghan Markle is mulling over opting out of the funeral and returning to the US to be with her children, who have been without their parents for more than a week.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were already in the United Kingdom days before the Queen died. Having flown to the UK on Saturday, September 3, the couple planned on being part of several charity events.
They attended the One Young World Summit on Monday, the Invictus Dusseldorf 2023 One Year to Go event on Tuesday, and were supposed to attend the WellChild Awards on Thursday where Harry would give a speech.
However, their plans did not come to completion after the royal doctors announced that the Queen was in critical condition. Following the news, Harry rushed to be by his grandmother's side.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to look at floral tributes on the Long walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Unfortunately, according to Fox News, he landed at Aberdeen airport sixteen minutes after the royal family announced the Queen dead at 6:30 p.m.
As Harry rushed to the Queen's Balmoral residence, Meghan remained in London where she might remain until her grandmother-in-law's funeral, set for Monday, September 19.
While Harry will stay, whether Meghan will remain until the day of the funeral is not yet decided. The two are now mulling over whether to fly out Meghan's mother, Doria, to the UK with their children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the long Walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
However, the funeral is still a few days away, and as a mom, who'd expected to leave her babies for six days, Meghan is worried sick about being away from them for so long. Speculations are rife that she might opt out of the funeral and fly back to the US to be with her babies.
Harry Wants to Protect His Young Children from the Grief
The Telegraph reports that it might be unlikely that Archie and Lilibet will come to the UK for their great grandmother's funeral, as many reports seem to suggest. The publication noted that Harry wanted to shield them from the same experience he had to endure during his mother's funeral 25 years ago.
Britain's Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan hold their baby son Archie as they meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife (unseen) at the Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town on September 25, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
Only 12 at the time, following behind his mother's funeral procession was a harrowing experience for the father of two as he walked head bowed and fists clenched alongside his then 15-year-old brother, Prince William.
The two walked alongside their father, then-Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their maternal uncle Earl Spencer as the procession moved slowly through the streets of London.
Prince William and Prince Harry stand outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Despite being decades ago, Harry admits that the experience scarred him for life. "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on TV," he said, adding:
"I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances."
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry, and the Prince of Wales following the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service [L-R] in September 1997 | Source: Getty Images
Looking back at how the event affected him and altered his life for the next few years, it is no surprise that he would want to shield his babies from the same. It is also noteworthy that his children are much younger than he was at the time of his mother's funeral, and the grief could hit them much harder.
Prince Harry and the Queen had always had a close bond, and her death hit him hard. During her coffin reception procession on Wednesday, September 14, Harry looked grief-stricken as he walked behind the casket down the Mall.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex pay their respects in The Palace of Westminster on September 14, 2022, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Finally, as the casket, adorned with The Royal Standard and Imperial State Crown, was placed at Westminster Hall, where the Queen will lay in state until the funeral, the duke could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.
Meghan, who had traveled to Westminster Hall by car alongside Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was later seen holding Harry's hand in a gesture of comfort and support as they left the hall.
Prince Harry, and Meghan, leave after a service for the reception of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin at Westminster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster in London on September 14, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
After the two grieving experiences — after his mother and his grandmother's deaths — it is understandable that Harry and Meghan may want to protect their young children from all the grief.
The Big Question: To Attend or Not to Attend?
As it stands, there are still doubts about whether or not Meghan will stay for the funeral. Royal commentator Neil Sean believes that if she stays, the media might make the funeral about her, observing what she will wear, her makeup, and her emotions, and consequently defocusing their attention from the lady of the day - the Queen.
On the other hand, if she does decide to fly back to the US to be with her children, which would make perfect sense as she has been away from them for a while, it will appear as if she was running away.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after a service for the reception of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin at Westminster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster in London on September 14, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Following the arrival of the Queen's casket at Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14, during which people paid their respects as they passed by the coffin, the funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, followed by a committal service in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Expected to attend are all of the Queen's children and their respective partners, including King Charles III and Queen Consort Camila, Prince Edward and Sophie, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, and Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
Also present will be The Queen's grandchildren and their partners, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Peter Philips, Zara, and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Meghan, pay their respects inside the Palace of Westminster on September 14, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
It remains unclear whether the Queen's great-grandchildren will attend. However, according to Vogue, the funeral is bound to be attended by world leaders such as New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, American President Joe Biden, and members of the royal families of Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Spain.
As she is laid to rest in her final resting place at Windsor Castle, her husband, the late Prince Philip, will be moved from the Royal Vault beneath St. George's Chapel, where he has been temporarily interred and put beside his wife.
The two will finally rest, surrounded by the Queen's departed family, her father, King George VI, who died in 1952, her mother, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002, and her sister, Princess Margaret, who also died in 2002.