Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a member of the British royal family as the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was eighteen months old.
Front from left, Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.Credit...John Shelley Collection/Avalon, via Getty Images
Front from left, Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.Credit...John Shelley Collection/Avalon, via Getty Images

Almost 24 years ago, the world watched as a pair of brothers, ages 15 and 12, walked a mile through London behind a horse-drawn carriage holding their mother’s coffin.

The image of the boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, heads bowed as they walked slowly alongside their father, uncle and grandfather, became seared into Britain’s national consciousness.

On Saturday afternoon, the eyes of the country and the world again turned to the brothers at a different funeral — that of their grandfather Prince Philip.

This time, much of the interest centered on the relationship between the princes, weeks after Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave a searing interview to Oprah Winfrey and spoke of their differences with the royal family. Harry also described his brother and father, Prince Charles, as being “trapped” by their roles.

William and Harry both walked behind their grandfather’s coffin during a procession to the funeral service, but Prince Philip’s eldest grandchild, Peter Phillips, walked between the brothers. The brothers, like all the other mourners present, sat apart while in the chapel.

But as they left after the ceremony, the television cameras homed in on the brothers walking together away from the building. As their family left the chapel, Harry walked alongside William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and they could be seen exchanging a few words.
Princes William and Harry were separated by a cousin, Peter Phillips, in the funeral procession for Prince Philip.Credit...Pool photo by Adrian Dennis

Speculation about whether their grandfather’s funeral will help heal the brothers’ apparently strained relationship has swirled since Philip’s death on April 9. Harry returned to Britain this week from his home in California, his first visit since stepping down as a senior royal last year. Meghan, who is pregnant, remained at home on doctor’s orders, Buckingham Palace said.

In the days leading up to the funeral, the British tabloids pored over the brothers’ relationship, with The Daily Mail asking, “If you were William, could you forgive Harry?” But in public statements, both men focused on the personal loss of their family’s patriarch.

In his statement, William said of his grandfather, “I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life — both through good times and the hardest days.”

“I will miss my grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job,” he added.

Harry, in a separate statement, said that Philip had been “authentically himself” and was a man who “could hold the attention of any room due to his charm.” He added that his grandfather would be remembered “as the longest-reigning consort to the monarch, a decorated serviceman, a prince and a duke.”

“But to me,” Harry added, “like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this item misidentified the location of Diana’s funeral. It was in London, not Windsor Castle.

Megan Specia is a story editor on the International Desk in London, specializing in digital storytelling and breaking news. She has been with The Times since 2016. @meganspecia

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