Prince Harry, Prince William won’t walk side-by-side at Prince Philip’s funeral: palace
Palace officials refused to comment when asked whether the position of William and Harry was an effort to minimize family tensions
Prince Harry and Prince William won’t walk side-by-side on Saturday as they follow their grandfather Prince Philp’s coffin.
On Thursday, Buckingham Palace released the broad outlines of the funeral program for Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, who died April 9 at 99. The palace revealed that William and Harry’s cousin, Peter Phillips, will walk between the princes as they escort the coffin to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, west of London.
The brothers will also take seats apart from each other for the service itself, with the Duke of Cambridge seated next to Peter Phillips and the Duke of Sussex next to Lord Snowdown, Harper's Bazaar reported.
Palace officials refused to comment when asked whether the position of William and Harry was an effort to minimize family tensions, which have grown after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey in March. The tell-all was watched by nearly 50 million people globally.
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During the televised sit-down, the couple suggested that an unnamed member of the royal family made a racist comment to Harry, 36, before the birth of their child Archie in 2019.
Harry, 36, later clarified that his grandparents did not make the comment in question.
While the brothers won’t walk side-by-side, this will minimize the chances of any awkward moments between the pair who are still grappling with strained relations since Harry’s decision to step away from royal duties last year.
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne and the father of the princes, together with his sister, Princess Anne, will lead the 15-member procession.
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Meghan Markle, 39, who is pregnant and living in California with Harry, is not coming to the funeral on the advice of her doctor.
The brothers had been closely watched as Saturday’s funeral will almost certainly remind the pair of their shared grief at another royal funeral more than two decades ago. As young boys, both walked behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin in 1997 in London in a ceremony watched around the world.
Harry previously told Winfrey, 67, that his relationships with Charles, 72, and William, 38, have ruptured.
According to Harry, the royal family cut him off financially at the start of 2020 after announcing plans to step back from his roles. But he was able to afford security for his family because of the money Diana left behind.
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Harry voiced his displeasure with the restrictions placed on members of the royal family – which played a factor in his decision to step back from his duties as a senior-ranking member.
"My father and my brother, they are all trapped," he said. "They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that."
After the interview aired, William became the first British royal to speak out about the accusations of bigotry made by his brother and sister-in-law.
While visiting an East London school with his wife Kate Middleton, William told reporters who confronted him, "We’re very much not a racist family."
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After Harry and Markle married in May 2018 at Windsor Castle, the royal family seemed to welcome the Duchess of Sussex, a glamorous former TV star. The pair were seen as providing a fresh young face for the monarchy of an increasingly multicultural nation.
It didn’t take long for the fairy tale to unravel.
The couple stepped away from royal duties last year and eventually settled in California, saying they wanted to escape racist coverage and unwanted intrusions on their privacy by the British media.
During the interview, the duke and duchess shared they are expecting a girl due this summer.
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Harry acknowledged to Winfrey that he and his brother are on "different paths."
"I love William to bits," Harry explained. "He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. But we are on different paths."
While Harry described his relationship with William as "space," the prince stressed he "will always be there" for him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.