Prince William and Harry spoke to each other while leaving their grandfather Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle today as the estranged brothers appeared in public together for the first time in more than a year.
The princes talked while walking out of St George’s Chapel following the service this afternoon, having earlier taken part in the procession either side of their cousin Peter Phillips behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin.
Their discussion came following an impromptu decision by some of the Royal Family to walk back to the castle itself, despite state cars having been put on for them – and it gave the cameras a chance to see the brothers talk.
Body language expert Judi James told MailOnline today: ‘The moment of connection between William and Harry came right at the end of the service as they left the chapel.
‘In a well-co-ordinated but also relatively natural-looking moment, Harry walked up behind William and Kate to then join them, walking between them and chatting to them both. After a few second of what looked like natural and not self-conscious conversation, Kate fell back, leaving the two brothers walking off talking alone. It looked like a genuine moment of unity rather than something contrived for the cameras.’
About an hour earlier, the Duke of Cambridge entered the chapel one place ahead of his younger brother – and the brothers were seated opposite one another during the service, with William next to his wife Kate Middleton.
William and Harry looked sombre as they walked in silence behind the specially-adapted Land Rover carrying their grandfather’s coffin as it made its way to the chapel and looked straight ahead as they both wore black suits.
It had been quietly hoped that the loss of their beloved grandfather, who both men loved deeply, might start the process of rapprochement – but the brothers are unlikely to have even seen each other before the funeral.
William, 38, and Harry, 36, were among nine members of the Royal Family who walked behind their grandfather’s unique coffin this afternoon, leaving the Sovereign’s entrance at Windsor Castle at precisely 2.45pm.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had earlier been seen wearing face masks as they left Kensington Palace in West London in the back of a vehicle before being driven the 20 miles to Windsor for the funeral.
Today marks the first time Harry and William have been seen together since March 2020, when they attended a Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey with other royals and could barely look each other in the eye.
Royal aides have been ‘walking on eggshells’ as they try to navigate the rift between the brothers, sources said last night as tensions remain following Harry and Meghan’s acrimonious split from the Royal Family last year.
Prince Harry and Prince William walk together out of St George’s Chapel today as Kate Middleton also walks alongside them
Prince Harry and Prince William walk next to each other as they leave the funeral service at St George’s Chapel this afternoon
Members of the Royal Family including Harry and William walk away from St George Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle
Prince Harry speaks to Prince William as they leave the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle this afternoon
Prince William (centre) and Prince Harry (right) walked either side of their cousin Peter Phillips (left) at Windsor Castle today
Prince William (left) and Prince Harry (right) walk either side of Peter Phillips and behind Prince Andrew at Windsor today
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex walk either side of Peter Phillips during the procession at Windsor today
Prince William and Prince Harry follow the hearse towards St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this afternoon
Prince Charles and Princess Anne walk in front of Andrew and Edward; William, Peter Phillips and Harry at Windsor today
Prince Harry walking in the procession at Windsor Castle today during the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh
Members of the Royal Family walk behind the Land Rover which carries Philip’s coffin at his funeral in Windsor today
Members of the Royal Family walk behind the adapted Land Rover at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle this afternoon
(Left, from front) Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince William, Earl of Snowdon, (centre) Peter Phillips, (and right, from front) Princess Anne, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Edward and Prince Harry during the funeral today
(Left to right) The Earl of Wessex, Prince William, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence today
Relations were further soured by the couple’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, in which they attacked senior royals while Philip, who died on April 9 at the age of 99, lay in hospital in London.
And today is likely to have been a particularly difficult day for the brothers and evoke memories of having to walk behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin in September 1997, when they were aged just 15 and 13.
William and Harry’s special bond with the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex’s affection for their ‘Grandpa’ the Duke of Edinburgh was always to clear to see.
On official engagements, William and Harry were often captured side by side with Philip, usually in fits of laughter at something the duke had said.
Both enjoyed his witty and entertaining company and greatly admired his decades of dedication to duty and the loyal support he showed to the Queen.
Philip, William and Harry together at Sandhurst in April 2006
In a tribute released on Monday, William described his grandfather as a ‘extraordinary man’. He heralded his ‘mischievous sense of humour’, adding: ‘I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.’
William shared a poignant personal photograph taken by the Duchess of Cambridge of their eldest son Prince George, aged just two, riding in a carriage with his great grandfather in 2015. ‘I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!’ William said.
Harry described Philip as ‘a man of service, honour and great humour, adding that ‘he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end’. William and Harry spent their childhood summers enjoying barbecues cooked by Philip at Balmoral, as well as shooting, hunting and fishing, which was also much loved by the duke, on the Aberdeenshire estate.
The trio all shared a love of polo and outdoor life. As a royal patriarch, adored by his eight grandchildren, Philip was a larger than life character who even kept his royal relatives on their toes.
Harry said: ‘He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.’ In a nod to Philip’s well-known impatience, Harry added: ‘While I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’ So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself.’
As a military man who served with distinction in the Second World War, Philip was proud of his grandsons for their own service in the armed forces. When William and Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales died suddenly in a car crash when they were just 15 and 12, the brothers were staying at Balmoral with their grandparents. The duke and the Queen supported the boys during the difficult days ahead.
Philip is said to have offered William and Harry ‘gruff tenderness and outdoor activities like stalking and hiking to tire them out’. Ahead of Diana’s funeral, he is said to have told the brothers as plans were being made for them to walk behind the princess’ funeral cortege ‘If I walk, will you walk with me?’
On the day, Philip joined the princes as they made the heartbreaking procession through central London in honour of the princess. The duke could be stern and it is not known what he made of the Megxit debacle when Harry quit as a senior working royal for a new life in the US with the Duchess of Sussex. Nor is it known whether Philip was aware of or what he made of the fall out from the Sussexes’ bombshell Oprah interview in which they accused the royal family of racism.
The Duke of York told on Sunday how Philip kept calm in a crisis, adding: ‘If you had a problem, he would think about it. That’s the great thing that I always think about, that he was always somebody you could go to and he would always listen.’
In 2012, William and Harry visited Philip together in hospital while he was being treated for a bladder infection during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and they did so again as a duo after he had abdominal surgery in 2013.
Insiders have stressed that the arrangement involving the positioning of the brothers in the funeral procession should not be taken as a sign that William and Harry refused to walk alongside each other.
Asked beforehand whether arrangements for the procession reflected the royal siblings’ relationship, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘This is a funeral, we’re not going to be drawn into those perceptions of drama, or anything like that, this is a funeral.
‘The arrangements have been agreed, and they represent Her Majesty’s wishes, so we’re not going to say anything more on that.’
Sources did admit, however, that the fraternal feud has taken up ‘much thought and energy’ in the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, which was responsible for today’s arrangements.
‘Everyone is walking on eggshells so as not to exacerbate the situation,’ said one.
‘To be fair, both William and Harry have made clear that they wish to focus on mourning their grandfather and do not want anything to get in the way of that.
‘But it has made everyone doubly nervous about saying anything that could be remotely construed of being critical of the other side. It’s been a minefield.’
Sources insist the formation of those walking behind the coffin was based on ‘bloodlines and age’.
The card on the wreath left for the Duke of Edinburgh by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in St George’s Chapel was handwritten by Meghan, who is watching the funeral on television from her home in the US.
Meghan and Harry personally chose the locally-sourced flowers for their tribute – including Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breeches), the national flower of Greece, to represent Philip’s heritage, and Eryngium (sea holly), to represent the Royal Marines.
The wreath also features campanula for gratitude and everlasting love, rosemary to signify remembrance, lavender for devotion, and roses in honour of June being Philip’s birth month.
Meghan, who is expecting the couple’s second child, is watching proceedings from more than 5,000 miles away in California after doctors advised her not to fly.
She had hoped to attend, but the Duke of Sussex is at the funeral alone.
The floral wreath was designed and handmade by Willow Crossley, who was in charge of the flower arrangements for Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding celebrations in Frogmore Gardens.
She also arranged the flowers for the christening of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie in the private chapel in Windsor Castle, and for the launch event for the Hubb Community cookbook at Kensington Palace.
Meghan is known for her skill at calligraphy and previously used to write wedding invitations.
Meanwhile, speaking about William and Harry, a source told the
‘But there is a realisation that everyone does need to reach some form of resolution, if only for the Queen, who has said it is her wish that the family comes together.
‘The family has been united in grief this week and it has given a lot of people pause for thought.
‘It is certainly hoped that the period of unity from the darkness of the Duke’s passing can be used as a catalyst to come together instead of letting the passage of time deepen divisions.’
The group were led by the duke’s two elder children, with the Prince of Wales, 72, on the right and the Princess Royal, 70, on the left.
They were followed by the Duke of York, 61, and the Earl of Wessex, 57.
Philip’s three adult grandsons were next, with William on the ‘elder brother’ column behind Charles and Andrew, while Harry was behind Anne and Edward.
Between them was Anne’s son Peter, 43. Although he is older than William, he is not a direct heir to the throne.
Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Earl of Snowdon followed behind the trio, with Philip’s staff bringing up the rear.
Tensions within the family saw the Queen change the dress code for the occasion.
A royal ceremonial funeral normally involves honorary military uniforms – but Philip’s mourners were wearing day dress instead.
The monarch was forced to step in over behind the scene tensions after Prince Andrew insisted on wearing an admiral’s uniform, which other members of the Royal Family did not believe he was entitled to do.
This meant Harry – who has been stripped of his titles after quitting as a working royal – would have been the only member of the family not to be wearing military dress.
Members of the Royal Family walk through the grounds of Windsor Castle this afternoon during the funeral procession
Prince Harry bows his head as he stands next to Prince William during the ceremonial procession at Windsor this afternoon
Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Peter Phillips, Prince William and Prince Harry at Windsor Castle this afternoon
(Front row, from left) Prince Charles, Princess Anne, (second row, from left) Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, (third row, from left) Prince William, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry and (back row, from left) Earl of Snowdon and Sir Timothy Laurence
Senior members of the Royal Family walk in the funeral procession towards St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle today
Prince Harry walks behind Prince William (left, rear) as members of the Royal Family enter St George’s Chapel this afternoon
Members of the Royal Family stand inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for Prince Philip’s funeral this afternoon
Prince William stands in front of Prince Harry as the brothers enter St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this afternoon
Prince Harry and Prince Andrew (left) sits alone, with Princess Anne and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence between them
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sit opposite Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle this afternoon
The Duchess of Cambridge stands inside St George’s Chapel, with the Countess of Wessex and her children to Kate’s left
As an ex-serviceman he would only have been entitled to a lounge suit and medals.
Earlier this week the Daily Mail revealed that the Queen had ordered day dress to be worn by everyone to defuse the issue.
Last night the Duke of Sussex was finishing his quarantine after flying in from California. His pregnant wife Meghan Markle and 21-month-old son Archie did not travel.
This afternoon, the Duke of Edinburgh’s ‘unwavering loyalty’ to the Queen and his ‘courage, fortitude and faith’ was marked at his funeral.
The Duchess of Cambridge steps out of a car at Windsor Castle at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral this afternoon
Kate Middleton travels in the back of a car at Windsor Castle today as she arrives for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Windsor Castle this afternoon for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service
Kate Middleton looks out of her car window as she arrives at Windsor Castle with her husband Prince William this afternoon
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Windsor Castle this afternoon for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh
Cars leave Kensington Palace in London this afternoon with a police escort for Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave Kensington Palace this afternoon for Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle
Prince William is pictured this afternoon as he leaves Kensington Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at Windsor Castle
The Duke of Edinburgh looks out of the car window as he leaves Kensington Palace today to be driven to Windsor Castle
Floral tributes are seen in a car leaving Kensington Palace in West London this afternoon ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral
After 73 years of marriage, the Queen said farewell to Philip during the televised funeral service today, attended by a small group of close family and friends.
Covid regulations have reduced the scope of the service with public elements cancelled, mourners reduced from around 800 to just 30, and all guests wearing face masks and sitting apart.
No sermon was delivered during the ceremonial royal service, in keeping with Philip’s wishes.
His love of the sea and long association with the Royal Navy permeates the Order of Service, with the music chosen by the duke including the hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save – traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell interview which was first aired on March 7
Prince William (left, with his wife Kate Middleton) and Prince Harry (right, with his wife Meghan Markle) were last seen in public together at the Commonwealth Service with other royals at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9, 2020
The Duke of Edinburgh (front centre) walks next to Lady Louise Windsor (left) and in front of (from left) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day 2017
Prince William laughs with his grandfather Prince Philip (centre) at the Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham in October 2015
Prince Harry smiles with Prince Philip as Kate Middleton and Prince William laugh at Buckingham Palace in June 2014
Prince Charles and Prince Philip walk in front of Prince William and Prince Harry as they leave Westminster Hall to make their way to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service of the Queen Mother in London in April 2002
Prince Philip, William, Charles Spencer, Harry and Charles walk during Princess Diana’s funeral in September 1997
The Dean of Windsor, in the Bidding, paid tribute to Philip’s ‘kindness, humour and humanity’.
The other American duchess who missed a royal funeral
Almost 70 years ago an abdicated king returned from the US for a royal funeral, while his American wife was absent.
In 1952, the Duke of Windsor – formerly Edward VIII – set sail from New York onboard the ocean liner Queen Mary, travelling to London following the death of his brother George VI.
His wife, the Duchess of Windsor, remained in the United States, where they were living at the time.
Edward had plunged the monarchy into crisis in 1936 when he abdicated over his love for the divorcee formerly known as Wallis Simpson.
In 1953, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor watched their niece Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on television from Paris
Now in 2021, the Duchess of Sussex will be more than 5,300 miles away in the US as the royal family gathers for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Former Suits star Meghan was the first American divorcee to marry a senior royal since Mrs Simpson, and both she and the Duke of Sussex have since quit as working royals and moved across the Atlantic.
Harry has travelled to the UK to pay his respects, but Meghan, pregnant with her second child, has remained at their home in Montecito, California, after doctors told her not to fly.
Their daughter is due to be born in the summer and the duchess had a miscarriage last year. It is understood Meghan made every effort to travel, whereas the Duchess of Windsor was not invited to George VI’s funeral, nor to Queen Mary’s funeral a year later.
Wallis was never forgiven by George VI’s widow Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, for her role in the abdication crisis.
Just weeks ago, Meghan and Harry sent reverberations through the monarchy with their primetime Oprah interview. The couple sat down with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey on March 7, laying bare their struggles and troubled relations with their family, accusing an unnamed royal of making racist remarks about their son Archie before he was born, and the institution of failing to help a suicidal Meghan.
It is not known whether the duchess and the couple’s son Archie, who turns two next month, will watch the proceedings on television. The service begins at 3pm, which the coffin emerging at 2.40pm – which will be 6.40am in California.
In 1953, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor watched their niece Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on television, from hundreds of miles away in Paris. In one photograph, the former monarch, dressed in a suit and tie, rested his foot on the low coffee table in front, exposing his striped socks.
They were living in exile in France at the time, and neither were invited to the ceremony. Instead, they were pictured sitting in hard-backed antique chairs, watching the historic occasion in the home of American millionairess Margaret Biddle.
Later the duchess was seen reaching for a cup of tea, while the duke passed around a platter of food to friends in the rows behind. Following in his great-great-uncle’s footsteps, Harry stepped down from royal duties with Meghan last year for a life free from the constraints of the monarchy.
‘With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us,’ he said of Philip, who died aged 99 on April 9.
‘We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.
‘Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity.’
The Prince of Wales and Princess Royal will lead the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and other family members walking behind the duke’s coffin, carried on a Land Rover hearse he helped design, during the funeral procession which the Queen will join, travelling by car.
Royal brothers the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, who have a troubled relationship, did not walk shoulder to shoulder but with their cousin Peter Phillips between them.
Philip’s love of carriage-driving was a poignant feature of his funeral, with his carriage, which he designed, and ponies making an appearance.
The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage, accompanied by two of Philip’s grooms, stood in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle as the duke’s coffin was carried past in the procession.
Among the mourners were the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Wessex and her children Viscount Severn and Lady Louise.
Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank were invited.
Also attending were the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, three of Philip’s German relatives and his close friend Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
The Queen was photographed driving in the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday and during the day was back at work receiving calls from General David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia, and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It is understood the calls were made by the national figures to convey their condolences to the Queen.
Philip’s children and grandchildren have been paying tribute to his life and legacy, and welcoming the support and warm words from the public who have left flowers and cards.
In the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday, the Earl and Countess of Wessex viewed cards and flowers left by the public and appeared touched by the tributes to the duke.
While looking over handwritten letters from children, Sophie could be heard saying ‘how sweet’ before speaking to her husband Edward about the number of bouquets that have been gathered.
She was also heard to suggest there would have been many more tributes if coronavirus restrictions had not been in place.
The couple, who were joined by their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, spent around 15 minutes looking at hundreds of flowers and wreaths outside St George’s Chapel.
Among them were floral tributes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Royal Navy – which the duke was associated with for much of his life.
Lord Chartres, a former bishop of London, said the Queen would be under ‘extraordinary pressure’ during the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as she mourns her husband in public.
The retired Church of England bishop, who was understood to be close to Philip, told BBC Radio 4’s Today: ‘I hope that today people really will be sending up a prayer for the Queen and for the other members of the royal family because having to grieve in public is an extraordinary pressure and something that most of us would not really want to do.
‘But it is part of their life and their world, and I hope today, and I’m sure, that people won’t forget the personal dimension in the formal ceremonies.’
Lord Chartres said the duke had a ‘very practical’ Christian faith, adding: ‘I always remember preaching on occasions which he was principal actor that the instruction would always come down: ‘No more than four minutes’.
‘He was at home with broad church, high church and low church, but what he really liked was short church, and I think that-one was left in no doubt about that.’
The peer described Philip as a ‘very questioning, curious and deeply committed person’.
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