Meghan Markle's absence from Prince Philip's funeral may help Harry and William to 'come together', royal experts claim
MEGHAN Markle's absence from Prince Philip's funeral could help Harry and William "come together", royal experts have claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex, who is expecting her second child this summer, was advised not to travel to England for the service this weekend due to her pregnancy.
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Prince Harry, however, made the 5,400-mile journey back to the UK yesterday to ensure he could be there in time for the Duke of Edinburgh’s farewell at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on Saturday.
It is the first time Harry has been in the UK since last March — and will be the first time he and William have seen each other since his and Meghan's explosive Oprah interview.
Speaking of the Duke's return this morning, Royal biographer Penny Junor said: “If any good can come out of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death this could be one of those things."
She added: “They now just need to come together and with luck this really will be what brings them face to face.
"Because the pandemic has kept Harry away from the family for so long it’s been impossible really to settle their difference and that’s what they need. They need to be together.”
During Meghan and Harry's Oprah chat, the Duke of Sussex claimed William and their father, Prince Charles, were “trapped” by their royal responsibilities.
He also said his relationship with his brother was one of "space" and hoped "time heals all things".
And although Harry and Wills have reportedly spoken over the phone since – talks were said to be "unproductive".
Meghan, 39, who is heavily pregnant, made “every effort” to travel back with Harry yesterday but didn’t receive medical clearance from her physician, a Senior Palace Official and Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
And speaking of the outcome this morning, ITV's Chris Ship suggested Harry's solo visit to the UK could give him and his brother space to finally talk.
The royal editor told Good Morning Britain: “I wonder whether being on his own with his family will give Harry those moments to talk and to reflect.
"They’ve had some phone conversations as we know thanks to Gayle King, the US TV anchor, but we will have to see whether they can do that and I think funerals can sometimes do that.”
The Duke of Sussex was seen getting off a British Airways flight from Los Angeles that arrived at Heathrow at 1.15pm.
Harry will now have to quarantine for ten days — though he can leave it after five days if he provides a negative test under the Government’s approved Test to Release scheme.
He will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral regardless though, because guidelines state those coming in from abroad can leave isolation “on compassionate grounds”.
Chris Ship said: “As far as we know the quarantine ends on Friday, the funeral is on Saturday.
"So if there is any time to talk you’ve got to think it’s Saturday morning which is in the moments before the funeral when there will be a lot of stuff going on at Windsor in any case."
Harry, sixth in line to the throne, was at his £11million Montecito mansion in California when he was told the news of Prince Philip’s death on Friday morning.
He was then spotted arrivingat Heathrow wearing chinos and a black face mask, where he was met by security staff with police cars.
The Duke was put into a black Range Rover and whisked away.
Meanwhile, the Queen has declared a two-week royal mourning period following her husband's death.
An insider said: “Family conversations now will be on the passing of Prince Philip — and nothing else.
“The Queen has declared royal mourning for two weeks so it’s quite clear that is the focus.
“Conversations will be private but the focus will be on emotional matters of dealing with a father and grandfather.”
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