Banding together. Royal family members — including Prince Harry, Prince William and Duchess Kate — decided to depart from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle as a unit after Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday, April 17.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, was seen chatting with his sister-in-law, 39, and older brother, 38, outside of the church after the extended family paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth II‘s late husband during the private service. According to Victoria Arbiter, a royal commentator for CNN, many of Philip’s loved ones chose not to get into the cars that were waiting for them outside.
“Having been separated in the Chapel they’re now able to come together which will be a comfort to the Queen,” Arbiter tweeted on Saturday as the funeral came to an end.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on April 9 that the Duke of Edinburgh “passed away peacefully” at his royal residence. He would have turned 100 in June. The queen, 94, completed her eight-day mourning period on Saturday as her children — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne — and grandchildren gathered to bid her late husband farewell.
Inside the church, the monarch sat separately from the rest of her family members. Social distancing was enforced and the guest list was kept small due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Days before the funeral took place, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that the royal family were purposefully considerate of the government’s COVID-19 protocols so that Philip’s death wouldn’t “have a negative impact” amid the global health crisis.
Harry and William — whose relationship has been tense for several years — were not seated together in the pews. Before the service, Harry and William both took part in the procession but were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, a decision the palace insisted was not “sending a signal” amid the family’s drama.
Shortly after news broke of his grandfather’s death, Harry flew to England for the first time since stepping back from his royal duties in March 2020. His wife, Meghan Markle, did not accompany him overseas. Currently pregnant with the pair’s second child, the Suits alum, 39, was advised by her doctors not to fly.
Though she remained stateside with son Archie, 23 months, Meghan kept her in-laws in her thoughts. On Saturday, Today reported that the California native sent a wreath and handwritten note across the pond to pay her respects to Philip. Among the variety of flowers included in the thoughtful design were Eryngium to represent the Royal Marines and Acanthus mollis, the national flower of Greece, where Philip was born.
As they continue to work through this difficult time, the queen has felt supported not only by her relatives but also by people around the country, who have rallied behind the royals after their loss.
“Elizabeth has found it cathartic to soak up all the well-wishes and tributes to the man she loved unconditionally for countless decades,” a source previously told Us. “Seeing how many lives he touched has been nothing short of extraordinary.”