The pregnant Meghan Markle has been advised by her doctor not to travel to Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle next Saturday — but her husband Prince Harry will attend, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The Duke of Sussex will fly from the couple’s home in California and will be following Covid-19 protocols for the trip, as well as during his visit.
It is understood that the duchess, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, had made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.
Harry has not returned to the UK since stepping down as a senior royal just over a year ago.
It will also be the first time he has seen his family in person since the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey - in which the couple accused the royal family of racism and the institution of failing to support a suicidal Meghan.
Currently, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate from arrival and for the first full 10 days after they arrive.
However, Harry will be entitled to leave his place of self-isolation on compassionate grounds to attend the funeral and he could also be released from quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme.
On Saturday, Prince Charles paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh outside his Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, and told reporters that his family was “deeply grateful” for the public’s support following the passing of his father.
“My dear papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” he said.
“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”
Buckingham Palace has announced that a ceremonial royal funeral will take place on 17 April in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, with the event marked by a national minute’s silence at 3pm.
The funeral will be televised and members of the public who wish to pay their respects in person have been urged to stay at home in line with coronavirus guidelines.
“The family's wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe,” a Palace spokesperson said on Saturday.
“His Royal Highness's funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life.”
Additional reporting by AP