UK

Prince Harry ‘may delay return to LA to stay for Queen’s birthday this week’

Prince Harry may delay his return to Los Angeles to stay for the Queen’s birthday on Wednesday, reports say.

The Duke of Sussex is said to have booked an open flight to the US – meaning he could go back after his grandmother turns 95.

It comes after it was reported he held two hours of peace talks with his older brother Prince William.

They are said to have met with their father Prince Charles after Prince Philip‘s funeral on Saturday.

Prince Harry’s plane ticket means he could spend Wednesday with the Queen for her first birthday without her beloved husband.

It would mean a delay in seeing his 23-month-old son Archie and his wife Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with their second child.

The Duke of Sussex  (pictured on Saturday)is said to have booked an open flight to the US – meaning he could go back after his grandmother turns 95

It comes after it was reported he held two hours of peace talks with his older brother Prince William (pictured together on Saturday)

It comes after it was reported he held two hours of peace talks with his older brother Prince William (pictured together on Saturday)

He went to Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday and was seen talking to Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton after the ceremony - raising hopes they could make up

He went to Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday and was seen talking to Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton after the ceremony – raising hopes they could make up

As the limousines drew up to take mourners from the Galilee porch of St George’s Chapel back to Windsor Castle’s private quarters, Prince Charles used the briefest of gestures to send them, empty of their royal passengers, away.

As the limousines drew up to take mourners from the Galilee porch of St George’s Chapel back to Windsor Castle’s private quarters, Prince Charles used the briefest of gestures to send them, empty of their royal passengers, away.

Prince Harry's plane ticket means he could spend Wednesday with the Queen (pictured in October) for her first birthday without her beloved husband

Prince Harry’s plane ticket means he could spend Wednesday with the Queen (pictured in October) for her first birthday without her beloved husband

A source told the Sun: ‘If all goes well, he could stay for the Queen’s birthday.’

The Duke of Sussex had to quarantine at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor when he flew in from the US where he lives in a £11million Montecito mansion.

Travellers from America are supposed to self-isolate for ten days but are allowed to go to funerals on compassionate grounds.

Reports say Harry used the UK Government’s test-and-release scheme so he could leave isolation after five days following a negative Covid test.

He went to Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday and was seen talking to Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton after the ceremony – raising hopes they could make up.

The Duke is reported to have later had a meeting with his brother and Prince Charles for two hours after the encounter.

It would have been the first time they have spoken in person since Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey chat earlier this year.

They are said to have met away from the television cameras in Windsor Castle after Saturday’s coverage ended.

The warring brothers are expected to meet again in the summer when they unveil a new statue to Princess Diana at Kensington Palace.

Insiders hope the July 1 event – done to commemorate what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday – will help heal their relationship.

A source said: ‘It’s early days but you’d hope this is exactly the first step Philip would have wished for.’

Prince William and Prince Harry were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walked behind Prince Philip's coffin on Saturday

Prince William and Prince Harry were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walked behind Prince Philip’s coffin on Saturday

Prince Harry rocked his family with bombshell accusations during his and his wife’s interview with Ms Winfrey in March.

They 36-year-old claimed his 38-year-old brother and 72-year-old father were ‘trapped’ in ‘The Firm’.

All three of them were said to have talked after the interview but they were believed to have been ‘unproductive’.

The Duchess of Sussex, who also levelled claims against the Royal Family in the chat, did not travel with Harry after doctors advised against it due to her pregnancy.

Instead the 39-year-old watched the ceremony on TV and sent a hand-written note to leave with a wreath at the funeral.

Harry and William were seen talking after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at St George’s Chapel on Saturday.

They were separated by The Queen and Prince Philip’s eldest grandson, Peter Philips, during the funeral procession.

But in a sign of a possible reconciliation the brothers were seen speaking as they left the chapel and walked towards Windsor Castle.

Harry was initially seen speaking to his sister-in-law Kate but she appeared to hang back so he could talk to William for a few moments without her.

The chat came after an impromptu decision by some of the Royal Family to walk back to the castle.

This was despite state cars having been put on for them – and it gave the cameras a chance to see them talk.

Prince William (left) and Prince Harry (right) walk either side of Peter Phillips and behind Prince Andrew at Windsor Saturday

Prince William (left) and Prince Harry (right) walk either side of Peter Phillips and behind Prince Andrew at Windsor Saturday

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince Harry

Prince William and Kate Middleton (left) sit on the opposite side of St George’s Chapel to Prince Harry (right) who sat alone

Meanwhile sources told The Mail on Sunday Harry experienced ‘a great deal of frostiness’ from many of his relatives since arriving in Britain.

Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie failed to acknowledge him before or during the service, it was claimed.

One source said: ‘Ironically the only one who has expressed any sympathy towards him is Prince Andrew.

‘He knows from Sarah Ferguson – and now first-hand – how it feels to be the outsider, which Harry very much is.

‘As far as the others are concerned, there is a deep sense of protection towards the Queen and resentment towards Harry. There is little sympathy for him after what he and Meghan said on Oprah.’

The Sussexes accused the Royals of institutional racism during the bombshell 90-minute interview.

They claimed one member of the family – not the Queen or Prince Philip – questioned what colour their son Archie’s skin would be.

‘They are still very upset,’ the source added. ‘They are putting on a united front for the Queen. They all think he has behaved appallingly.’

The Duchess of Sussex did not fly with Harry to the UK after doctors advised her not to travel due to her pregnancy. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their bombshell interview with Oprah

The Duchess of Sussex did not fly with Harry to the UK after doctors advised her not to travel due to her pregnancy. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their bombshell interview with Oprah

The siblings maintained stony expressions as they walked behind their grandfather’s cortege.

The Duke of Cambridge strode ahead of his brother as they entered the 15th Century chapel and inside the atmosphere remained frosty.

William sat with Kate directly opposite Harry but did not appear to make eye contact, instead preferring to focus his gaze towards his grandfather’s coffin.

But it was reported last week William had spoken briefly with his brother on the phone – although the source said communication had been ‘more texts than calls’.

Harry has spoken to his cousin Princess Eugenie who remains a steadfast friend.

‘He is thought to have seen Eugenie, most likely outside since she’s being strict with her new baby,’ said the insider.

According to one report, William requested that Peter Phillips stand between him and Harry during the funeral cortege.

Asked about the claim, a friend of Harry said: ‘He’s just doing what he’s told and getting on with it.’

The last time the brothers were seen together in public was on March 9 last year when they attended a Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey.

Aides were reported to have ‘been walking on eggshells’ all week as the funeral plans were tweaked, but there was relief the brothers spoke and did so publicly.

The princes talked while walking out of St George’s Chapel following the service, in a sight which triggered hopes among royal fans of a reconciliation.

As the Royals filed out of the chapel, Prince William spoke to the Right Reverend David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, while Harry chatted with Kate behind them.

William was initially ahead of his wife and brother but turned back towards them to speak to Kate while Harry exchanged pleasantries with the Dean.

Harry then caught up with his brother and sister-in-law and they walked together for a while as William removed his face mask.

Then, Kate stepped away to speak to the Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise – leaving the brothers alone.

Harry’s friend Tom Bradby, who was presenting ITV’s coverage of the funeral on Saturday, said: ‘Funerals are a time of reconciliation and that a sight, let’s be honest, that’s many wanted to see. Not least the family itself.’

The Queen wiped away tears and was forced to mourn alone away from her family as she said an emotional final goodbye to her ‘strength and stay’ after 73 years.

Her Majesty looked grief-stricken and bowed her head in reverence as she accompanied her beloved husband’s coffin on its final journey.

Their eldest son Prince Charles cried as he walked behind the casket into church followed by other devastated royals.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers with a handwritten note from his wife.

Pallbearers placed him on to his self-designed green Land Rover Defender hearse in the castle’s quadrangle packed with hundreds of armed personnel. 

The Queen kept her husband poignantly close during the service by carrying special mementoes from their life together inside her handbag.

According to a Royal insider, the Queen was planning to include one of Philip‘s trademark white handkerchiefs, made by his Savile Row tailors Kent & Haste.

The crisply folded squares, inserted into the breast pocket of a sharply cut suit, were an enduring feature of the Duke’s classic sartorial style.

In honour of their long marriage, she is also said to have carried a small photograph of the two of them together, thought to have been taken in Malta.

The island was a deeply special place for both the Queen and Philip.

As newlyweds they lived in Villa Guardamangia, on the outskirts of the capital Valletta, between 1949 and 1951, while the Prince was stationed there as a naval officer with HMS Magpie.

The Queen later said it was one of the best periods of her life as it was the only time she was able to live ‘normally’.

The couple returned often, including to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 2007.

The grief-stricken monarch left a personal, handwritten message to Philip placed alongside a wreath of white lilies, small white roses and white freesia chosen by her.

Massed military bands stood still as the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin past by in a Land Rover that he had built himself

Massed military bands stood still as the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin past by in a Land Rover that he had built himself 

Photos show only a glimpse of the note, which appears to be written on official card from Buckingham Palace. It has not been confirmed what it said.

After the eight-minute procession and the 50 minute service, Prince Philip’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault.

A lament was played by a lone piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Last Post was then sounded by buglers of Philip’s beloved Royal Marines.

They then also played Action Stations at the specific request of The Duke of Edinburgh.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, pronounced the Blessing before the 30 royal mourners silently filed out of the church into cars to take them the short journey back to castle.

Harry and William decided to walk back with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and were seen smiling speaking animatedly as they were reunited for the first time in a year where their relationship became fractured.

The emotional Queen had arrived at the funeral as the national anthem played and the royal Bentley stopped next to her beloved husband’s coffin.

She poignantly paused for a moment of reflection as cannons fired and bells tolled in remembrance of the duke, wiping tears from her eyes.

Her Majesty was then driven to St George’s Chapel with her lady in waiting Susan Hussey, before being sat alone at the front of the church.

She stood and bowed her head during the national minute’s silence.

She looked at the coffin throughout the poignant service, where the majority of her children and grandchildren were on the verge of tears.

The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin on the back of the Land Rover with royal family members walking behind

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin on the back of the Land Rover with royal family members walking behind

Following behind the coffin was the royal procession, led by Philip’s children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

The grandchildren, including William and Harry, followed but the brothers were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, viewed as a ‘peacemaker’ between the two.

The Duke of Cambridge entered the chapel one place ahead of his younger brother as mourners filed into the historic gothic chapel without speaking.

But they later chatted as they walked back to the castle, with Kate taking a step back to let them spend time alone.

The Queen had decided that no royals should wear military uniform after Prince Andrew demanded to dress as an Admiral and Prince Harry was stripped of his titles.

But they were allowed to wear their medals. Andrew was seen driving away in a casual suit and aviator sunglasses around an hour after the funeral ended.

The Queen wore Queen Mary’s Richmond Brooch, while Camilla wore the Rifles Brooch.

The Duchess of Cornwall wore the brooch in July 2020 when Philip’s role as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles was formally handed over to her.

Kate wore a necklace and earrings borrowed from the Queen.

After the funeral ended at 3.49pm, the Queen led the Royal Family from the chapel, followed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

She had a brief conversation with the Dean of Windsor outside the chapel before being driven away.

Other members of the royal family walked away from the chapel in small groups, chatting as they walked through the sunlit grounds, including William and Harry.

Many of the royals only stayed at the castle for a short period before heading home.

RICHARD KAY: A funeral masterstroke by Charles that may just reunite his warring sons

On a day of meticulous planning, it was the one and only off-the-cuff decision. And it turned out to be a masterstroke.

As the limousines drew up to take mourners from the Galilee porch of St George’s Chapel back to Windsor Castle‘s private quarters, Prince Charles used the briefest of gestures to send them, empty of their royal passengers, away.

Impromptu perhaps, common sense even, but it was a signal every bit as eloquent as the spine-tingling music that accompanied the coffin containing the earthly remains of his ‘dear papa’ to its resting place in the royal vault.

For instead of hiding behind the bulletproof glass of their chauffeur-driven cars, the family walked side by side together, ripped off their face masks and talked.

This could have been a moment of risk, instead it allowed us the first glimpse of the possibility that somehow William and Harry can put their bitter split behind them and rebuild that once whisper-close bond.

Sad return: Charles takes out his handkerchief as he follows Andrew

Sad return: Charles takes out his handkerchief as he follows Andrew

Chat: Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Prince William talk as they walk away from the service

Chat: Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Prince William talk as they walk away from the service

It is hard to read too much into this encounter, for it was all too brief, but if there is to be reconciliation between the brothers, this was surely the moment of its inception.

More than a year has passed since they were last seen in public together, a year in which so many assumptions about their relationship have been torn asunder.

The fall-out from Harry and Meghan’s Oprah Winfrey interview is still raw and its issues, not least the claims that a member of the Royal Family had made racist comments about the colour of their son Archie’s skin, remain unresolved.

That it should be Kate playing the role of peacemaker was significant too.

Her sister-in-law had discourteously referred to Kate’s pre-marriage ‘Waity Katie’ nickname during the interview and claimed that it was the Duchess of Cambridge who had made her cry over the bridesmaids dresses for her wedding – a claim that was met with deafening silence.

For Charles, who needs both his sons now as never before, this was the first sign of his new role as head of the family.

In the past week his life has changed utterly and he now must, above all, ensure that his own difficult and often misunderstood relationship with his father is not repeated with his sons.

Was this what was going through his mind as he led the sombre line of mourners out of the chapel into the sunshine?

Unscripted: The royals walk after Charles sends his car away after the service

Unscripted: The royals walk after Charles sends his car away after the service

By sending his car away he was laying down his first act as the Royal Family’s new paterfamilias. The others had to follow and did.

What it demonstrated was that, for all the military precision and formality of the funeral behind which bereavement could seek refuge, there was a willingness to show that the Windsors were as bereft as any family losing a loved one.

Clambering into cars to travel silently back to the castle might have preserved royal dignity, but going by foot allowed us to see them in all their vulnerability.

Crucially it also provided a chance to build bridges between William and Harry and it was Kate who seized the opportunity.

As they emerged into the castle precincts she was already chatting animatedly with Harry. With no cars to collect them there was no alternative but to walk.

Soon William, who had exchanged pleasantries with the Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, had joined them. 

And just as she had arrived at Harry’s side, Kate then melted away. 

Service over: Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Prince William thank the Dean of Windsor

Service over: Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Prince William thank the Dean of Windsor 

By now both brothers had removed their Covid masks and there was just a flicker that the frost between them might be thawing as they began the walk up Chapel Hill.

‘Make no mistake, this was as much for the benefit of the cameras as anything substantial’, says a royal figure. ‘Don’t read too much into it. Baby steps maybe.’

All the same the fact that they were talking at all seemed anything but likely when they had emerged from the castle an hour or so earlier.

The distance between them then looked unbridgeable with the impassive Peter Phillips, their former rugby-playing cousin, sturdily between them.

This could have been a moment of risk, instead it allowed us the first glimpse of the possibility that somehow William and Harry can put their bitter split behind them and rebuild that once whisper-close bond.

This could have been a moment of risk, instead it allowed us the first glimpse of the possibility that somehow William and Harry can put their bitter split behind them and rebuild that once whisper-close bond.

Prince William was as inscrutable as on that September day almost 24 years ago when he walked behind his mother’s coffin. He looked neither left nor right, keeping his gaze steadily ahead.

For his part Harry seemed to be taking in the pageantry of the occasion, perhaps in the knowledge that it no longer plays any part in his life now he has stepped back from royal duties.

At the steps to the chapel’s west door the cortege paused for the national minute’s silence and Peter appeared to pull back as if to allow the brothers a chance to move together.

They did not and William proceeded to his seat along with Peter while Harry walked to his with their other cousin David (the Earl of) Snowdon.

Once inside the chapel they sat apart too. William and Kate on one side of the quire, Harry facing them directly opposite, but alone. If they did make eye contact, the television cameras did not record it.

If there had been hope that their grandfather’s death and funeral might mean some kind of royal reconciliation, the hopes at that moment looked to have been dashed.

Since his return to Britain a week ago, Harry had been isolating at Frogmore Cottage, the house given to him and Meghan as a wedding present by the Queen.

But his presence had brought about one change to Saturday’s proceedings: the royals’ decision not to wear military uniform. 

This was to spare Harry, who was no longer entitled to ceremonial dress since being obliged to give up all his military patronages.

There were reports that the brothers had exchanged texts but nothing more.

After the service as they walked back to the castle the two continued to talk and this time Kate was with them.

Making peace? Prince William and Prince Harry still in conversation after the service

Making peace? Prince William and Prince Harry still in conversation after the service

For a moment it was just like turning back the clock to the years before Meghan came into his life when Harry shared everything – on and off duty – with William and Kate. But with no formal wake because of social distancing the funeral party broke up quickly.

‘Everyone stood around in the quadrangle chatting for a little while and then left,’ says one insider.

It is understood that Prince Edward and his family did stay for tea with the Queen.

For Prince Charles, his is a future of dizzying and perplexing family problems, not eased by his father’s passing but deepened by it.

He must be a rock for the Queen who will depend on him more than ever, but also find the will to restore the unity of the Royal Family by bringing his sons together.

Talk of a family summit and even of Charles taking his son for a walk round Windsor to look at the flowers left in tribute to Prince Philip – just as he did after Diana’s death all those years ago – are, I am told, wide of the mark.

Although Harry is understood to have an open return air ticket – meaning he could travel at any time – he is anxious to return to America to be with Meghan, who is thought to be seven months pregnant with their second child.

It is inevitable that Charles will look to William to take the lead in this.

The one hope is a date in the calendar both princes have – the unveiling of the statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1.

   

More from James Gant For Mailonline…

It does not involve their father but it can surely only happen if the brothers are properly talking.

This week Charles has been concentrating on the wider family, speaking to them all and sharing memories of his father.

He has asked them all to pull together to help the Queen. Many watching on were shocked by the Queen’s apparent frailty at the funeral but the prince knows that his mother will not slacken her pace.

Life for her revolves around Windsor Castle. All being well, next year will mark her platinum jubilee, 70 years on the throne, and it is already being planned.

For Charles, as sad as his father’s passing undoubtedly has been, the priority now is the reintegration of Harry into royal life.

There was palpable tension at Windsor on Saturday.

Some reports yesterday said that neither his aunt Princess Anne nor his uncle Prince Edward acknowledged Harry before or during the service.

If there is to be a dividend from the sadness of Philip’s death, Charles will fervently hope that it will come thanks to his decision to send away the cars and force his sons to start to bury their differences. An awful lot depends on it.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button