Prince Harry arrives in UK for Prince Philip's funeral, praises him for 'dedication to Granny'

Prince Harry will quarantine in accordance with coronavirus guidelines so that he can attend the funeral on Saturday. PHOTO: REUTERS

WINDSOR (REUTERS) - Prince Harry, whose explosive interview alongside his wife Meghan plunged the royal family into its biggest crisis in decades, has arrived back in Britain for Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday (April 17).

Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle last Friday.

Prince Harry, Prince Philip's grandson, arrived in London on Sunday from Los Angeles on a British Airways flight, The Sun newspaper reported. Buckingham Palace said Meghan, who is pregnant, will not attend on the advice of her doctor.

Prince Harry praised his grandfather for providing unparalleled devotion and dedication to his "Granny", and said he would be sorely missed by the nation and the world.

Releasing a statement on his return to Britain from his home in the United States ahead of Philip's funeral on Saturday, Harry said the Duke of Edinburgh had been a man of "service, honour and great humour".

"He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, 'Oh do get on with it!'" Harry said.

"So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself.

"Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts."

The Prince, who is sixth in line to the throne, will quarantine in accordance with coronavirus guidelines so that he can attend the ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle.

Interviewed by Oprah Winfrey last month, Meghan said her pleas for help while she felt suicidal were ignored and that an unnamed member of the family had asked how dark their unborn child's skin might be.

Prince Harry also bemoaned his family's reaction to their decision to step back from official duties and move to Los Angeles.

In response, Queen Elizabeth said the royals were saddened by the challenging experiences of her grandson and Meghan, and promised to privately address revelations about a racist remark about their son.

Prince William

Prince William, second in line to the throne, hailed his "grandpa" for his dutiful service to the crown, but said that the late duke would have wanted members of the royal family to get on with their jobs.

William, known as the Duke of Cambridge, said Philip was an extraordinary man whose life had been defined by service to his country, the queen and the Commonwealth.

"I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job," William, 38, said in a statement on Monday.

"My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. My grandfather's century of life was defined by service - to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family."

William said he felt lucky to have had Philip's example to guide him and praised his grandfather for showing great kindness to his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

"Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead," William said.

Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99, is lying at rest in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.

On Saturday, the coffin - covered by Prince Philip's standard, a wreath, his naval cap and sword - will be moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a bearer party from the Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

Prince Charles and other members of the royal family will take part in a procession on foot behind the coffin, which will be carried by a specially modified Land Rover that Prince Philip helped to design. The queen, 94, will not walk in the procession.

As the coffin reaches St George's Chapel at Windsor, Britain will observe a minute of silence. There will be no public processions, and the funeral will be held entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle and limited to 30 mourners, in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

A spring snow storm on Monday struck Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth pondered the loss of her husband of 73 years.

Her son, Prince Andrew, said on Sunday that the Queen was stoical in the face of a loss that she had described as "having left a huge void in her life".

Prince Andrew joined his siblings, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, in saying they had taken strength from a national outpouring of affection and would rally around their mother in her time of grief.

Prince Charles on Saturday paid tribute to his "dear Papa" who had given such devoted service to Queen Elizabeth, to the royal family, to Britain and to the Commonwealth, expressing gratitude for touching praise of his father.

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