Prince Harry will return to the U.K. and reunite with his family for the first time since his and Meghan Markle's 2020 royal exit to attend his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral. However, he will not be joined by his wife.
Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple's second child and due to give birth in the summer, has been advised by her physician not to travel, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told reporters on Saturday, April 10.
"The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend," the spokesperson said. "The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the duke will be attending."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's rep echoed the spokesperson's comments, adding that Harry will follow COVID-19 protocols for travel to and from the U.K. as well as during his time in the country.
This will also mark the first time Harry will see his family members in person since his and Meghan's controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March and took place in California, where the couple has been living since last summer.
Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and a World War II veteran who dedicated his life to public service, died at age 99 on Friday. Following news of his death, Harry and Meghan shared a tribute to him on their Archewell website, which read, "Thank you for your service...you will be greatly missed."
At a press conference on Saturday, the Buckingham Palace spokesperson told reporters that the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will take place on April 17 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same place Harry and Meghan had their royal wedding in 2018.
Philip's funeral will be reduced in scale to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle, the spokesperson said. Under U.K. law, a maximum of 30 people are permitted to attend a funeral during the pandemic. The Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Philip's family members, including his children and grandchildren, are expected to be on the guest list.
For safety reasons, there will be no public processions and the royal family has also urged the public not to visit the castle or any other royal residences to pay their condolences. The funeral will be broadcast.
Earlier on Saturday, gun salutes were fired across the United Kingdom and overseas in honor of Philip. The country has also entered into a period of national mourning until the funeral, and union flags are being flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings and U.K. military bases.