Prince Philip’s funeral ‘very sad day for Meghan’, says Megxit book author
Prince Philip’s funeral was a “very sad day for Meghan”, her biographer Omid Scobie has said.
The Duchess of Sussex, who is in her third trimester of pregnancy, was advised by a doctor not to make the long journey to the UK, a Palace spokesperson confirmed after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99.
The 39-year-old was able to follow the funeral service online from her home in Los Angeles while her husband, Prince Harry, made the 5,400-mile trip to attend his grandfather’s funeral yesterday.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Queen was forced to choose 30 guests to attend the wedding, but Buckingham Palace said those who could not attend the service would make “private arrangements” to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s life.
Meghan, who remained at home in the US with little Archie, watched the proceedings through a live stream.
Omid Scobie, one of the authors of Meghan’s biography Finding Freedom, said the Duchess of Sussex would be grieving as she “has also lost a family member”.
During a live broadcast for American TV channel ABC News, the writer and journalist said: “Although Meghan isn’t here, she is of course supporting Harry. Her mind is very much on the situation over here.
“We know that she’s supporting Harry in this very difficult week for him, but she’ll also be sad because this is also the loss of a family member for her.”
He added that the Duchess of Sussex became very close to the Queen and Prince Philip in recent years and it was “probably her strongest relationship within the family”.
Mr Scobie said: “It’ll be a sad day for her.”
The duchess wrote a note which was placed on a wreath at Prince Philip’s funeral.
The ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday reflected Philip’s lifelong support of the armed forces, having had a close connection with the Navy for more than 80 years.
His coffin, draped with his personal standard, featured his Admiral of the Fleet naval cap and sword next to a wreath of white flowers chosen by the Queen with a handwritten card from his wife of 73 years.
At 3pm on Saturday the nation came to a halt to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the duke who died a few months short of his 100th birthday.
The country was in national mourning from Philip’s death on April 9 until and including the day of the funeral.
Earlier this week Harry paid a moving tribute to his grandfather, and said he will always have a special place in the Sussex family’s hearts.
In a letter posted on the couple’s Archewell website, he wrote: “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. 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.
“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.
“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.
“Per Mare, Per Terram.”
Family plans for today have not been made public and it is not known how long Harry intends to stay in the UK before heading back to his pregnant wife in the US.