The Queen will reportedly be in “shock” over a major absence as she and the Royal Family prepare to mark a very sad day for the first time.
- Her Majesty and the extended Royal Family are all expected to attend a memorial service in honour of Prince Philip in weeks.
- Prince Harry has confirmed he won’t be joining them and it's claimed the decision will likely be a "disappointment" for the Queen given his bond with Philip.
- This royal news (opens in new tab) comes as Prince William makes an unexpected royal appearance without Kate Middleton (opens in new tab).
Whilst 2022 is undoubtedly a momentous one for the Queen as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee (opens in new tab) year, it’s also tinged with immense sadness. In April she will mark the one-year anniversary of the loss of her beloved “strength and stay”, Prince Philip. Although his death didn’t change the royal line of succession (opens in new tab), it changed the monarchy as we know it. Ahead of this sad day, a thanksgiving service will be held on 29th March in his honour.
It’s expected that the Queen and most members of The Firm (opens in new tab) will attend to pay their respects. But there’s going to be one major absence and according to an expert, it’s one that will have come as a great “shock”.
Despite speculation about whether Prince Harry would return to the UK for the memorial, as stated by Sky News (opens in new tab), his spokesperson has now confirmed that he won’t be attending. No reason was given, though this announcement comes after Harry revealed it’s “too dangerous” (opens in new tab) to fly back with his family without sufficient security.
Instead, Harry released a statement detailing his bid to challenge the Home Office’s rejection of his request to allow him to fund his own police protection. His decision not to return to attend Philip’s memorial is one that royal expert Grant Harrold has described as a “shock”.
Opening up to OK! Magazine (opens in new tab), he explained, “When I worked at the household I was very aware of how close Prince Harry is to his grandparents – both grandparents.
"And I think that's quite obvious from footage that's been released over the years – obviously you saw him do the mic drop with the Queen on the Invictus Games and all that kind of humour.”
Grant alleged that whilst fans might not have seen so much of the bond between Harry and Philip, they were “very close”. The expert even suggested that Harry “reminds” his grandmother of her late husband.
"Although you never saw that with Prince Philip, the relationship with Prince Philip and Prince Harry was very close,” Grant said. “I think in some ways Prince Harry reminds the Queen of Prince Philip, so he was close to his grandfather and is, as far as I'm aware, close to his grandmother. So it is a shock that he's not coming over."
So much so that the royal expert claimed the Queen might be “disappointed” he won’t be there to pay tribute to his grandfather in person.
"It's possible the Queen might be disappointed he's not going there because he's aware of that relationship between them and maybe there will be part of her that will be disappointed that he won't be there,” he stated.
Sadly, his "shock" decision means Harry won’t be there to support the Queen in person on this sad day. Though his thoughts will likely be with her and the Duke's appearance at Prince Philip’s funeral was one of only two UK visits he made in 2022 as he saw his grandfather laid to rest.