Is Prince Harry in the UK? Why Duke of Sussex can attend Prince Philip’s funeral despite Covid rules

Meghan Markle did not join Prince Harry on his journey back to the UK

Monday, 12th April 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:20 pm
Prince Harry was said to have a close relationship with his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh (Picture: Getty Images)

Prince Harry has arrived back in the UK, ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday 17 April.

The Duke of Sussex had not seen his grandfather or his grandmother, the Queen, since he stood back from official royal duties last March although they have had video calls throughout the pandemic.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Saturday (10 April) that Harry would attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, though his wife Meghan Markle would not travel back to the UK with him.

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Here is everything we know about Harry’s return, whether he will need to quarantine and why Meghan will not be at the funeral.

Is Prince Harry back in the UK?

It has been widely reported that Prince Harry arrived in the UK on Sunday, 11 March, two days after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

He reportedly arrived on a direct flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow, touching down in the UK at 1.15pm.

Harry was met by security on the tarmac, before being whisked off in a Range Rover to begin his quarantine.

It is believed he will be residing at Kensington Palace for the duration of his isolation period, which will last a minimum of five days.

Will he be able to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral?

Prince Harry is expected to attend Prince Philip’s funeral, which is due to take place on Saturday 17 April at 3pm.

In the run up to the funeral he will need to self isolate, in line with UK quarantine guidelines.

The Duke of Sussex will be allowed to temporarily leave his place of isolation on "compassionate grounds", as rules state this includes a funeral.

The current government guidelines also rule that he must isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK from a foreign country - but this can be cut short if you schedule a ‘test to release’ Covid test.

This means scheduling two Covid tests before you travel - one before you depart for the UK and another private test five days after you arrive.

If the test on day five is negative, you can be released from self isolation. The government website states that you must still take another test on or after day 8 of arrival in the UK.

As Harry is not travelling from a red list country, he can isolate with friends and family at a place of residence, rather than a Covid hotel.

The funeral will also adhere to Covid guidelines, with a maximum of 30 guests and households or support bubbles kept two metres apart.

If Harry is at Kensington Palace then he will be in a support bubble with his brother’s family, including the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that he will not attend the funeral, to give Philip’s family members the best opportunity to attend.

Why has Meghan not travelled back to the UK?

Harry arrived alone from the US, where he has been living for over a year with the Duchess and their one-year-old son, Archie Harrison.

Markle is currently pregnant with their second child, a girl, who is due in early summer.

It has been reported that she made every attempt to travel to the UK to be by Harry’s side but did not receive medical clearance from her physician to travel.

Therefore, she will remain at the family’s mansion in Montecito, California.

How long will Harry remain in the UK?

It is not clear how long Harry will remain in the UK, but it could be the first time he has spoken with his brother, father and grandmother since his tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview.

Following the explosive interview, which aired on ITV on 8 March, Prince William denied his family were racist and asked if he had spoken to his brother, he replied: “No, I haven't spoken to him yet but I will do."

The pair were thought to have grown distant over the treatment of Markle by the royal ‘firm’, with Harry telling Oprah that his relationship with his brother was currently about giving one another space.

It has since been reported that the pair hasn’t spoken properly since Harry forfeited his leading role in the royal family for life in the US.

Sir John Major, who was guardian to the brothers following the death of their mother, princess Diana, told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that the funeral would be an "ideal opportunity" to mend family rifts.

Will the funeral be televised?

Prince Philip’s funeral will be shown on BBC One. The procession is expected to begin at 2.45pm on Saturday 17 April with the service live streamed from Saint George’s chapel from 3pm.