Despite reports Meghan was instructed not to fly by doctors, friends of the Duchess say she stayed back in California because she “doesn’t want to be the centre of attention” at Prince Philip’s funeral.
It comes as Prince Harry faces reuniting with his family in the UK for the first time in over a year, just a month after his and Meghan’s explosive Oprah interview aired and caused tensions within the royals.
“Meghan said her main concern right now is supporting Harry. She said she left it up to him as to whether or not she would attend the funeral,” an insider with close ties to Meghan told the Daily Mail.
“Meghan said it’s during these times when family should come together, put their differences aside and unite as one. She said this is what Prince Philip would want and that she’s willing to forgive and move forward.”
Meghan reportedly had a “special bond” with Prince Philip, and “adored” the Duke, but acknowledges that this is a chance for Harry to mend his relationship with his family.
The source added that Meghan knew the Queen would “understand” her reasons for staying home.
“Meghan said attending or not attending Prince Philip’s funeral isn’t going to change her relationship with the Queen. She said the Queen understands her absence and would want her to stay safe and healthy for the baby.
“Meghan said this is the opportune time for Henry (Harry) to mend his relationship with his brother and his dad. She doesn’t need to be there for that.”
Meghan’s pregnancy was also a contributing factor in her not attending the funeral, with another friend of the Duchess claiming her mother Doria was “adamant” she not travel and put her health at risk given she is around six months pregnant.
“Doria insisted that Meghan stay behind and support Harry from afar. Like Harry, Doria is very protective of Meghan and doesn’t want to see her putting her own health at risk. Stress is the last thing Meghan needs right now.”
The Sussexes are expecting their second child – a girl – in the next few months.
Harry’s return to the UK is his first since March 2020 when he moved to Canada, and will be the first opportunity to reunite with Prince William and his father Prince Charles.
His father is said to be “looking forward” to a reunion with his son, with the family reportedly putting all hard feelings aside as they are “united in grief”.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry and his brother William will walk “shoulder to shoulder” at their grandfather’s funeral procession.