Royal Family Sees Prince Philip Funeral As An 'Opportunity' To Thaw Rift Between Harry & William

The whole Royal Family is mourning Queen Elizabeth II‘s husband Prince Philip, but can shared grief bring feuding family members together?

Philip’s death comes on the heels of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial Oprah interview, which only heightened the tension between Archie’s dad and his family across the pond. But when push came to shove, Harry dropped everything to return to the UK and be with his loved ones during this difficult time.

Now that the Duke of Sussex is back on British soil and quarantining in his old home at Frogmore Cottage, royal expert Katie Nicholl shared with Entertainment Tonight what to expect in the coming days. She explained:

“Because of COVID, Prince Harry simply can’t see the queen. For the next five days, he has to self-isolate, but of course given what has happened and what the queen is going through, I would imagine that she is probably the first person he will want to see as soon as he’s been given the all clear.”

She continued:

“Well, Prince Harry was incredibly close to his grandfather. They, you know, they were soldiers, they shared a love of the military and I think you can tell from the tone of Harry’s statement in which he pays such a warm tribute to his grandfather just how much he loved him and just like all members of the royal family, will really be missing him. Right now, I’m told he is of course very upset, missing his grandfather, but also relieved to be here in the U.K. and happy to be here and looking forward to being reunited with his family. It’s going to be an emotional reunion, he hasn’t seen his family for over a year now, so I think a lot of people are thinking maybe there’s a silver lining in all of this that finally there will be a family reunion.”

Absence may have made the heart grow fonder between the 36-year-old and some family members, but we know that his relationship with Prince William has been particularly strained, beginning long before the CBS tell-all. According to Nicholl, though, the family is optimistic about this imminent reunion. She told ET:

“Well, I think there is every hope that this will be the beginning of the thawing of the rift between William and Harry. We all know that it has not been an easy year, we know about the royal rift at the heart of the monarchy. We know that William and Harry have had a lot of problems over the past year and not least in the last month in the fallout of Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview. But I think the feeling certainly amongst senior royals and those who know the royals well, is that this will be an opportunity for the brothers to be together, to spend some much-needed time together.”

However, quality sibling time comes at the expense of being there for the pregnant Suits alum, who was advised not to attend the funeral for health reasons. The Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss and Love author remarked:

“Leaving behind his heavily pregnant wife isn’t what he wanted to do. My understanding is that Meghan was very keen to be here with Prince Harry to support him in what is clearly a very, very difficult and personal time for him, but she is now in the late stages of her pregnancy, she’s well into her third trimester, she’s 39 as well, and that comes with certain risks attached to it, so she doesn’t want to take any risks. And on the advice of her physician, she was told to stay behind, so I think that it’s a difficult journey for Prince Harry to take on his own, and she would have loved to be there to support him, but they are putting her health, the health of their unborn baby, first.”

A source for Us Weekly, who revealed that Harry’s trip would last “a week,” agreed:

“He’s already really missing Meghan and Archie and has been FaceTiming them every day to check in. He actually speaks to Meghan a few times a day because he worries leaving her when she’s so far along in her pregnancy.”

To ET, Nicholl added:

“I think as hard as it was for Prince Harry to leave his heavily pregnant wife behind, it may not be such a bad thing that he is here on his own and, you know, he won’t have anyone else to worry about. This is just him with family and hopefully there will be an opportunity in what is going to be a very busy and emotional and intense weekend. Hopefully there will be a time for some much needed one-on-one time with his father , with Prince William, and with the queen.”

We hope she’s right — this is a time when family should lean on one another. At the very least, we hope the royal brothers can keep things civil for the sake of their grandmother. We continue to keep the family in our thoughts.

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