On April 9, 2021, Prince Philip passed away at the grand old age of 99. Life hasn’t quite been the same since for Queen Elizabeth, as she’s struggled with her own health concerns. The support from her family has been vital, though the relationship between the Firm and Harry & Meghan remains rocky.
Prince Harry attended the funeral of Prince Philip last year, but neither he, his wife, nor his children were in attendance at Tuesday’s Service of Thanksgiving to honor his late grandfather.
Previously, Harry has cited security fears as to why he hasn’t brought his family to the UK. This time, though, according to royal expert Nick Bullen, that wasn’t a good enough reason for not showing up.
The last year has been a tough one for the British Royal Family. In April of 2021, Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the family lost Prince Philip when he passed away of old age.
Prince Philip’s passing
And with the UK mourning the Prince’s passing, the Royal Family had other problems to deal with as well.
Since the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview, Meghan & Harry’s relationship with the Firm had been in a bad spot. As Philip’s funeral loomed in mid-April of last year, things were still tense.
Ultimately, Prince Harry attended his grandfather’s funeral, but Meghan Markle stayed in the US with their son Archie (she was preparing for the birth of their second child, Lilibet).
Harry and Meghan have now started their new life in the US, buying a house in Santa Barbara, California, and involving themselves in any number of different projects. Back in the UK, Queen Elizabeth has had a rough year, including experiencing health problems during the fall, which forced her to sit out several trips as she needed to rest at home.
Today, the Queen is back on her feet, though it’s said that she receives help from the likes of Prince Charles and Prince William in performing her duties.
Queen Elizabeth attends memorial service for her late husband
On March 29, she attended a Service of Thanksgiving to honor her late husband, Prince Philip. Prince William and Kate Middleton – along with son Prince George – and Prince Charles and Camilla were also present for the service.
Other notable guests included Prince Albert of Monaco, Queen Letizia of Spain, and King Felipe of Spain.
The service was the Queen’s first significant official engagement outside one of her homes for nearly six months. She has been forced to cancel many engagements in recent months after struggling with mobility problems and coming down with Covid-19. However, she was said to have been “determined” to make it to the service – Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, you’ll remember, were married for 73 years.
Arriving at her husband’s memorial service, Queen Elizabeth wore a beautiful green dress. The color is known as “Edinburgh Green,” and it turns out there’s a deal of significance behind her opting for it.
That particular green is the color of Prince Philip’s official livery; at his funeral, he was transported in a green Land Rover, which the late Prince had designed himself.
Moreover, the Queen wore a yellow gold, ruby, and diamond scarab brooch, a gift she received from Philip back in 1966.
Prince Harry not in attendance: “Surprising”
Naturally, more than a few members of the Royal Family were in attendance. Prince Harry, though, was nowhere to be seen. As mentioned, he attended the funeral of his grandfather, but earlier this month, a spokesperson confirmed that he wouldn’t participate in the memorial service.
With all that has happened between Harry, Meghan, and the Firm in the last year, perhaps Harry attending the service would have been an opportunity to strengthen the olive branch of peace? In any case, that’s the opinion of royal expert Nick Bullen, who has worked closely around the Royal Family for decades and started True Royalty TV.
“I think everyone was rather surprised that he wouldn’t be coming to the Thanksgiving Service because he was very close to the Duke of Edinburgh,” Bullen told Fox.
“He obviously came back for the funeral, so his decision was surprising to people. There doesn’t seem to be much reason as to why he wouldn’t come.”
Interestingly, Harry and Meghan are said to have expressed concerns about their safety in the UK, though their relationship with William, Kate, and the rest of the Firm is said to be improving. Nick Bullen said that there has been some reconciliation in the previous few months.
The expert claimed that Harry and William are keen to re-establish their relationship. That said, doing so from different sides of the Atlantic Ocean might not be the easiest way forward.
Harry “should be supporting his grandmother,” expert claims
Bullen argued that Harry should’ve been at the memorial service for Prince Philip, if for no other reason than to support his grandmother, the Queen.
“I think a lot of people just don’t understand Harry’s thinking on this. At a very simple level – take away all the royal trappings – he should be attending the Thanksgiving Service of his grandfather. He should be supporting his grandmother, regardless of the fact that she is Queen,” Bullen said.
“On a simple family level, he should be there. And I think that’s how most people [in the U.K.] feel right now. He could come on his own easily. Even Meghan and the kids can remain safely in California. He should be there.
“I know Prince Harry has raised concerns regarding police protection. But again, I think people find that hard to follow because if he were to come over, he would be staying in one of the royal households that are very heavily guarded. He would be attending a service that would also be heavily guarded. He would be flying in, presumably, on a first-class flight with British Airways and be swept through at Heathrow.”
Meanwhile, Harry’s relationship with his father, Prince Charles, reportedly remains some distance away from where it should be. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the family bridges have been entirely burned.
In January, the Express reported that Charles would love for Harry and Meghan to visit the UK since he wants to spend time with his grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet.
The news outlet reported that Charles is “desperate” to meet his grandchildren – and has invited Harry and his family to stay with him during their visit.
Harry & Meghan “unable to return” to the UK without more protection
In fact, staying with his father might be the only choice for Harry and Meghan if they were to visit the UK. Why? Well, because of the couple’s aforementioned security concerns.
It all started the day before Harry attended the unveiling of a statue to commemorate his late mother Princess Diana last year. There, he met seriously ill children at the WellChild garden party in Kew Gardens, West London, though his car was reportedly chased by paparazzi photographers after he had left.
It isn’t clear whether that specific incident is why Harry and Meghan don’t feel satisfied with regards to their safety in the UK. Still, they did issue a statement through their legal counselors claiming that they need protection.
The Daily Mail reported that Harry had sought a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to pay for police protection when in the UK. Shortly after, the couple’s legal representatives issued a statement, saying that Harry “inherited a security risk at birth, for life.”
In the US, Harry and Meghan have their private security team. According to reports, however, they don’t have adequate jurisdiction to protect them while they’re in the UK. The statement said that Harry and his family could not return to his UK home without added protection.
“While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family,” the statement read.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed while in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
Important visit for Archie & Lilibet
When Harry and Meghan were still an official part of the Royal Family, they received – as with the rest of the Firm – police protection funded by taxpayer money. They lost that privilege when they stepped back from royal duties in March 2020.
The hope is that Harry, Meghan, and their two children, will return to the UK when Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, a huge celebration set to take place this summer.
This would not only be a chance to unite the entire Royal Family, but also for Lilibet and Archie to play with their cousins, Prince William’s children George, Charlotte, and Louis.
The Queen would surely be delighted by their presence since she hasn’t even met Lilibet – who was named after her.
For Harry and Meghan, it’s essential that their children have a loving relationship with their cousins, a source told US Weekly. Therefore, a trip back to the UK seems to be something they desire. That said, they won’t go if the security problems remain unsolved.
“Harry has his heart set on returning to the UK to see the queen with Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet, but that will only happen if the government takes the appropriate measures to protect his family,” an insider told the US news outlet.
“He refuses to put them at risk. Their safety comes before anything else.
Protection is “necessary if his family is to return to the UK”
“Harry and Meghan are doing everything they can to make the world a better place and feel it would be wrong to rob their children of the opportunity of getting to know their cousins,” the insider added.
“It’s obviously difficult because of the distance factor, so Harry sweetly organized a special Zoom call with Prince William so that the cousins could get to see each other.”
As things stand, Prince Harry is seeking a review of the decision not to allow him to pay for his own police protection. He believes that it’s necessary if his family are to return to the UK.
“The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe. With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk,” the statement further read.
“Prince Harry hopes that his petition – after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK – will resolve this situation.”
What do you make of this? Do you think Prince Harry should’ve been at the Queen’s side during the memorial service for Prince Philip? Please, give us your opinion in the comment section.
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