Meghan Markle will not attend the funeral of Prince Philip, Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday, ending speculation over whether the actress would accompany Prince Harry across the pond.
“The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend. The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the duke will be attending,” a royal spokesperson told People of the St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle funeral service on April 17, which will be closed to the public in accordance with pandemic guidelines. Markle and Prince Harry, who share son Archie, 1, are expecting their second child, a daughter.
On Friday, the Duke of Edinburgh who is the husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at age 99, the palace announced “with deep sorrow.” That day, Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, posted a tribute to Prince Philip which read, “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh…Thank you for your service.…You will be greatly missed.”
It will be Prince Harry’s first trip back to England after his and Markle’s March 7 CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which Markle revealed that she developed suicidal thoughts while living under palace constraints and without emotional support. The couple, who moved to Montecito, Calif., also claimed that before the 2019 birth of Archie, members of the royal family made racist remarks about his skin tone, allegations the palace said it takes “very seriously.”
The interview caused tension among the royals — Harry’s older brother Prince William denied that their family is racist and Prince Albert of Monaco called the televised event not “appropriate” — and it’s unclear if Harry’s visit will heal the family. “Harry will come home, and a meeting between the brothers and perhaps, with luck, a reconciliation over their dead grandfather could be a possibility,” a royal historian Penny Junor told the New York Times.
Harry, who has always been close to his grandparents, later clarified to Winfrey that neither one was responsible for the racist remarks.
Markle’s due date is not known, but she is believed to be nearing the end of her pregnancy. It’s generally safe for pregnant women to fly in the beginning and middle stages of pregnancy barring any complications, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.