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‘Helpful Meghan won’t be coming’ Penny Lancaster dives into William and Harry row

Prince Philip funeral: Meghan's absence assessed by Lancaster

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Prince Harry made the journey from the couple’s home in California and will be following Covid-19 protocols for the trip. It is understood that Meghan, who is pregnant with her second child, had made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor. Royal commentator Penny Lancaster has said it is “helpful” Meghan is not attending as the spotlight will be on the brothers.

Ms Lancaster told ITV’s Loose Women: “It’s almost as if this could be a catalyst or an ice-breaker if they haven’t spoken to make that first step.

“I think it’s been helpful that Meghan won’t be coming because the spotlight will be on the two of them.

“It is a day for the Duke of Edinburgh and for them to pay their respects to their grandfather.

“I think they will do that duty.”

The duke and duchess posted a tribute to Philip on the website of their foundation Archewell on Friday.

It reads simply: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021

“Thank you for your service… You will be greatly missed.”

It was posted against a sombre brown background.

Meghan Markle ‘wanted to be at funeral’ says insider

Harry has not returned to the UK since stepping down as a senior royal just over a year ago.

It also be the first time he has seen his family in person since his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey – in which they accused the royal family of racism and the institution failing to support a suicidal Meghan.

The two-hour interview was aired while Philip was in hospital after surgery on his heart.

The Queen issued a statement saying “while some recollections may vary”, the issues would be taken “very seriously”, but dealt with privately as a family.

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The Duke of Cambridge, in a rare move on a royal engagement, spoke out publicly saying “We’re very much not a racist family”, as the royals’ ability to carry out official duties linked to diversity, inclusion and mental health was called into question.

Harry told Oprah Winfrey that he felt let down by his father the Prince of Wales and that “there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened” between them, and that his relationship with his brother William was “space” but he loved him to bits.

Currently, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate from arrival and for the first full 10 days after they arrive.

But Harry will be entitled to leave his place of self-isolation on compassionate grounds to attend 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.

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