Will Prince Harry return for Prince Philip's funeral?

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Prince Philip death: The Duke of Edinburgh dies, aged 99

As the Royal Family mourns the loss of its patriarch, the Duke of Edinburgh, thoughts will now turn to his funeral preparations - and how they will be impacted by the coronavirus regulations.

One current unknown is whether Prince Harry and Meghan will return to the UK from their home in California.

Their new base, which they moved to in March 2020, is subject to restrictions because of the UK’s strict rules around global travel.

The couple updated the website of their non-profit, Archewell, with a short statement in tribute to Philip, Harry's grandfather.

It now reads: "In loving memory of the Duke of Edinburgh" and the dates 1921-2021.

The website also said: "Thank you for your service...You will be greatly missed."

Prince Harry, who is 36, will almost certainly be keen to return to the UK for the funeral. According to PA, "it is likely Harry will be among the small number of mourners" at the funeral.

Harry and Meghan's foundation, Archewell, added this short tribute on its website. (Archewell)
Harry and Meghan's foundation, Archewell, added this short tribute on its website. (Archewell)

However, all travel corridors were suspended to the UK in February. Anyone who wants to come into the UK will have to quarantine for 10 days.

It is thought the funeral for Philip would be held within eight days of his death, which would not be long enough for Harry to fly over, and quarantine, to attend.

However royal protocol is not always set in stone, and adjustments could be made.

But there are exceptions made on compassionate grounds, so he could leave early for the funeral.

He could also be released from quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme. He may also be given an exemption because of his status as a member of the Royal Family.

Britain's Prince Harry (L) salutes next to his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during a visit to the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in central London on November 5, 2015. The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry each placed a Cross of Remembrance for Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars. AFP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth/POOL (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry with his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during a visit to the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in 2015. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP)

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Harry would not have to quarantine in a government approved hotel because the US is not on the red list.

That means he, and Meghan if she returned as well, could quarantine in Frogmore Cottage, the home which was given to them as a wedding gift from the Queen.

They would have to show two negative coronavirus tests before they could leave the cottage, which is also in Windsor, close to the castle.

They would likely have to show a negative test shortly before they board a plane too.

Other regulations at the funeral would include a limit of 30 mourners, social distancing measures, and face coverings.

Harry and Meghan had intended to return to the UK throughout last summer, despite stepping back from their senior royal duties in March 2020.

Harry would have been present for the London Marathon, had that been able to go ahead, and they would have returned for Trooping the Colour.

But all of those events were postponed or cancelled, and they have not been on British soil since their final royal duties in March 2020.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 06:  The Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry And The Prince Of Wales Following The Coffin Of Diana, Princess Of Wales  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and The Prince Of Wales following the coffin of Diana, Princess Of Wales in 1997. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

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Prince Harry is understood to be making a July visit to the UK a priority, as a statue will be unveiled of his mother, Princess Diana, in the Kensington Palace garden.

It's not known whether he was planning to return in June for the Duke of Edinburgh's 100th birthday.

He may have hoped to be in the country early enough for Trooping the Colour, but those celebrations have been called off in their usual large size, because of the pandemic.

Meghan is due to give birth in the summer, and it was previously reported that she did not intend to come back for the statue unveiling.

Her exact stage of pregnancy is not known. The later she is in her pregnancy, the harder it may be to fly.

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