Prince Harry Expected To Fly Back For Prince Philip's April 17 Funeral — But Not Pregnant Wife Meghan Markle
After the devastating news that Prince Philip passed away at his home at the age of 99 on Friday, April 9, many have wondered whether or not controversial couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would make the trek overseas to pay their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh.
On Saturday, April 10, it was confirmed that Philip and Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, Harry, will in fact plan to fly home to be with his family, but without his pregnant wife in tow. The funeral is planned to held at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 3 p.m. U.K. time (10 a.m. ET) on Saturday, April 17, and will be broadcast live, palace officials confirmed.
“The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend. The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the duke will be attending,” a royal spokesman confirmed.
As OK! previously reported, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid tribute to Philip via their Archewell website following the news of the royal’s passing.
“In Loving Memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021. Thank you for your service...you will be greatly missed,” the pair wrote.
Just hours after the royal's death, funeral plans went into motion. "Operation Forth Bridge" — a.k.a. the plan when Philip passed away — has been in the works for years. According to the College of Arms, Philip will not have a state funeral, and he will not lie in state.
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State funerals are usually only granted to ruling sovereigns, but Philip also requested to not partake in the tradition, The Royal Observer reported. Philip's body instead will lie at rest in Windsor Castle before his funeral.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, "the funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic," the College of Arms said in a statement Friday.
"It is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral," College of Arms added in their statement.
The U.K. is currently under lockdown and as it stands now, remain that way through June 21. Under official guidelines, a maximum number of 30 people are allowed to attend funerals in the U.K., and they must practice social distancing at the service if they do not live in the same household — leaving many curious as to who will be granted access.
Queen Elizabeth II met Philip in 1934 when she was just 13 years old, and the pair tied the knot in 1947, five years before she became Queen; he was the longest-serving royal consort in history. They share children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward together. The royal couple also has eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.