(LONDON) — Prince Harry will join royal family members Saturday in the procession behind Prince Philip’s coffin, marking his first public appearance with his family in over a year, since he and his wife Duchess Meghan stepped away from their royal roles.
Harry — who traveled from his home in California to the United Kingdom for his grandfather’s funeral — will walk alongside his brother, Prince William, and their father, Prince Charles, in the procession for Philip, who died April 9 at the age of 99.
The trio will be joined in the procession by Queen Elizabeth and Philip’s three youngest children, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, as well as Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne; Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne’s husband; and the Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of the queen, according to Buckingham Palace.
The procession — which will see Philip’s body moved from Windsor Castle to the funeral location, St. George’s Chapel, in a customized Land Rover — is expected to bring back memories of the funeral of William and Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
After Diana’s unexpected death following a car crash in Paris, William, then 15, and Harry, then 12, walked behind her coffin in a procession that also included their father, Prince Charles, grandfather, Prince Philip, and Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer.
Philip, who was a stalwart force for the royal family after Diana’s death, reportedly agreed to walk in the procession to support his grandsons, whom he wanted to protect from press scrutiny and be allowed time to grieve.
When Downing Street officials suggested that William and Harry might walk behind their mother’s coffin, an anguished Philip reportedly bellowed into the phone, “F— off. We are talking about two boys who have just lost their mother.”
Philip ultimately put aside his personal feelings and told young William and Harry, “I’ll walk if you walk.”
William and Harry are now attending Philip’s funeral together at a time of family tension. The brothers, who have reportedly spoken by phone this week, have been at odds for at least the past year as Harry and Meghan decided to step down as senior working members of the royal family.
Harry and Meghan — who did not travel to the U.K. for Philip’s funeral because she is pregnant — spoke out in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month that spilled tensions in the royal family into public view.
In that interview, Harry described himself and William as being on “different paths.”
“The relationship is space at the moment, and, you know, time heals all things, hopefully,” Harry said. “I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together, and we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”
William and Harry will not be walking beside each other in Saturday’s procession. Their first cousin, Peter Philips, will walk between them.
Guest list released for Prince Philip’s funeral
The service for Philip will begin at 3 p.m. local time on Saturday, April 17, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Funeral guests will be limited to 30 people in order to comply with coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines issued by the U.K. government.
In addition to Queen Elizabeth and the royal family members walking in the funeral procession, other guests attending the funeral include Prince William’s wife Kate, Prince Charles’s wife Camilla, Prince Edwards’s wife Sophie, the queen and Philip’s grandchildren, Queen Elizabeth’s niece and two cousins and three of Philip’s relatives on his mother’s side who traveled from Germany for the wedding.
The only non-family member expected to attend the funeral is the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, close friend of Philip and the queen and Philip’s carriage driving companion.
Queen Elizabeth, who was married to Philip for 73 years, will follow the walking procession to St. George’s Chapel in a car, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting.
During the procession, minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and a bell will toll.
The guests will wear face masks during the service, which will begin with a national moment of silence, according to Buckingham Palace.
Members of the royal family will not be in military uniform for the funeral of Philip, a Navy veteran. Queen Elizabeth is expected to wear black for the service, according to Alistair Bruce, ABC News royalty consultant.
“Military uniform is ideal when you are going in a great procession through the streets of London and following a gun carriage, but this is not like that. We are in a time of COVID,” said Bruce, who explained the family will wear morning dress instead. “The queen will be wanting to make sure that the event is very much in the style of what this current pandemic sets for the nation and the world.”
During the service, a choir of just four people will sing pieces of music chosen by Philip, according to Buckingham Palace.
The choir will also sing the national anthem at the end of the service, when Philip’s coffin will be interred in the royal vault.
The royal family asked the public not to gather in crowds to mourn Philip after his death, and are saying the same for his funeral. Buckingham Palace on Thursday encouraged people to stay home and follow the events of Philip’s funeral on TV and radio.
Philip passed away at Windsor Castle, where he and the queen spent the majority of the lockdown during the past year. Queen Elizabeth remains in residence at the castle, according to Buckingham Palace.
The royal family has also asked the public to consider making a charitable donation instead of leaving floral tributes.
The royal website also has an online book of condolences for well-wishers to leave virtual messages.
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