Markle’s absence from the Duke of Edinburgh’s ceremonial royal funeral was known several days before the event took place. The Duchess of Sussex, 39, was advised by a physician not to attend because she’s pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s second child, a girl.
Earlier this week, Harry traveled to the United Kingdom solo to attend the funeral. Meghan stayed behind with the couple’s almost 2-year-old son Archie. The couple settled down in Santa Barbara, California, last year, months after the couple announced their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.
Despite the distance, Meghan made sure to watch on as her husband reunited with his royal family members for the first time since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Although the event began with Princes Harry and William separated in the procession line by their cousin, Peter Phillips, viewers were stunned to see the brothers walking side by side on their way out of the service.
Tension between the Sussexes and the rest of the British royal family have ran high since the couple announced their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family in early 2020.
The family rift was magnified on March 7, when their two-hour interview with Winfrey aired. During it, the couple suggested that an unnamed member of the royal family made a racist comment to Harry, 36, before the birth of their child Archie in 2019. Harry later clarified that his grandparents did not make the comment in question.
Days after the CBS special aired, the Duke of Cambridge defended the monarchy saying that they are “very much not a racist family.”
Another revelation involved Harry voicing to Winfrey that his relationships with his father, Prince Charles, 72, and William, 38, have ruptured.
On Saturday, People magazine reported that Meghan was “hopeful” she could attend the overseas service prior to seeking her doctor’s advice. Reps for Harry and Meghan did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The magazine reports that the Sussexes also provided a wreath that was laid for the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday. It was designed by Willow Crossley, who reportedly has worked with the married couple before.
Prince Philip was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years. He died April 9 at the age of 99.
The Duke of Edinburgh served in the Royal Navy for 12 years. Military personnel had a large role in honoring him Saturday despite the attendance limit due to coronavirus restrictions in England. Earlier this week, it was revealed senior royals attending the funeral must wear civilian clothes, defusing potential tensions over who would be allowed to don military uniforms.
Pallbearers placed Philip’s casket onto a modified Land Rover, designed by the Duke of Edinburgh, himself. The late duke was fond of Land Rovers and drove them for much of his life.
The many titles Philip held during his lifetime were read aloud during the service prior to the playing of bagpipes.
“High Admiral of the United Kingdom, One of Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal in the Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Husband of Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, whom may God preserve and bless with long life, health and honor and all worldly happiness,” the Dean of Windsor said within St. George’s Chapel.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered a blessing during the funeral. He is the archbishop who married the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the same chapel in 2018.
On Feb. 16, Philip was admitted to a London hospital after feeling ill. On March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital before being transferred back to King Edward VII hospital on March 5 and ultimately released home on March 16.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh’s death last week in a statement.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the statement read.
Philip became consort when his wife assumed the throne, and at his death was the longest-serving consort in British history.