Why Prince Harry May Be Forced to Sit Alone at Prince Philip’s Funeral (It’s Not Why You Think)

Prince Harry will be attending Prince Philip’s funeral set for April 17. It will be the first he has seen many members of his family since he and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex officially stepped down from their roles in March 2020.

Many are hoping for a reconciliation between Harry and his brother, Prince William, but the younger prince may actually end up sitting by himself during the funeral service and the reason for that has nothing to do with his decision to step back as a senior royal.

Photo of Prince Harry from the shoulders up as he attends The Landmine Free World event
Photo of Prince Harry from the shoulders up as he attends The Landmine Free World event | John Phillips/Getty Images

Prince Harry remembered his grandfather with touching tribute

Following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, Prince Harry paid tribute to his grandfather on his Archewell Foundation website.

“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,” Harry said in the statement published on April 12. “He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the monarch, a decorated serviceman, a prince and a duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”

The Duke of Sussex continued: “He has been a rock for Her Majesty the Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and 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. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered — by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”

Prince Harry and Prince Phillip laughing together during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match
Prince Harry and Prince Phillip laughing together during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match | Phil Walter/Getty Images

Harry has been self-isolating ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral

For the first time since stepping down from his role as a senior royal, Harry returned to the U.K.

The duke touched down in London via a British Airways flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow Airport on April 11. From there he traveled to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor where he is self-isolating ahead of the funeral.

Per the government’s guidelines for international travelers, Harry is required to quarantine for 10 days. However, he is permitted to leave isolation after five days if he provides a negative test under the government’s “Test to Release” system. The government’s guidelines also state that mourners from abroad can leave their place of quarantine “in limited circumstances including on compassionate grounds (such as a funeral).” 

Why the duke may have to sit by himself during the service

Prince Harry dressed in a dark suit and light blue tie sitting on stage during The Duke Edinburgh's International Gold Award Winners Ceremony
Prince Harry dressed in a dark suit and light blue tie sitting on stage during The Duke Edinburgh’s International Gold Award Winners Ceremony | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Royal expert Kinsey Schofield has revealed that Harry may not be able to sit with other members of the royal family during the service for Prince Philip because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The restrictions have already cut down the number of people able to attend the funeral from 800 to just 30. Schofield also shared that there are restrictions that affect Harry.

“If you are in the same household you’re allowed to sit together,” she told Access Hollywood. “But if you are not in the same household there’s going to be a space required between you which could leave Prince Harry pretty lonely during the ceremony.”

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