Prince Philip ‘thought extremely fondly’ of Prince Harry despite royal tensions, source claims

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Prince Philip never stopped loving his grandson Prince Harry from afar.

“Philip and Harry had a very close relationship,” a palace source told Us Weekly on Thursday. “… Philip thought extremely fondly of his grandson and vice versa.”

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9 at age 99. Following his death, the Duke of Sussex flew to England to attend the funeral, which will take place on Saturday.

His wife Meghan Markle stayed behind in California with their son Archie, 1. The 39-year-old, who is expecting the couple’s second child, was advised by her physician not to join her husband on his trip.

In this Oct. 31, 2015 file photo Britain’s Prince Harry, left, and his brother Prince William, right, stand with their grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh as they wait for the start of the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, London. Philip’s grandson Prince Harry, who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family, palace officials have said. His wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant and has been advised by her doctor not to make the journey. 
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Another source alleged to the outlet that Harry, 36, was disappointed that he couldn’t be around for his grandfather’s final days.

“Harry feels guilty for not being there to say goodbye to Prince Philip in person,” the source claimed.

Back in February, Harry spoke lovingly of Philip to James Corden on “The Late Late Show” and shared he communicated with his grandparents frequently, including on Zoom.

On Thursday, Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II decided that senior royals must wear civilian clothes to Philip’s funeral, defusing any potential tensions over who would be allowed to don military uniforms.

Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 10, 2016, in London, England. 
(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

This means Harry won’t risk being the only member of the royal family not in uniform during Saturday’s funeral for his grandfather.

Members of the royal family often wear uniforms to public events by virtue of their honorary roles with the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. But Harry lost his honorary military titles when he decided to give up frontline royal duties last year.

As a result, protocol suggests that Harry, an army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, may only wear a suit with medals at royal functions, Britain’s Press Association reported.

The decision also sidesteps another potential controversy after reports that Harry’s uncle Prince Andrew considered wearing an admiral’s uniform to his father’s funeral. The Duke of York retains his military titles even though he was forced to step away from royal duties.

Prince Philip and Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana exchanged heartwarming letters before her death in 1997 at age 36.
(Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The funeral is scheduled to take place Saturday at Windsor Castle, with attendance limited to 30 because of coronavirus restrictions.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, served in the Royal Navy for 12 years and maintained close ties to the armed forces throughout his life. Military personnel will have a large role in honoring him Saturday despite the attendance limit.

Members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force and the British Army plan to take part in the funeral procession. Philip’s coffin will be carried to St. George’s Chapel on a specially adapted Land Rover, which he designed himself.

Harry’s attendance on Saturday will mark the first time he’s publicly reunited with his family members since he and the Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah Winfrey for their tell-all interview in March.

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, from left, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped away from royal duties last year and eventually settled in California, saying they wanted to escape racist coverage and unwanted intrusions on their privacy by the British media.

On Monday, Harry shared a statement paying tribute to his grandfather.

“My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next,” Harry began.

“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, 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.”

Prince Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip passed away on April 9 at age 99.
(Photo by Max Mumby/Pool/Indigo/Getty Images)

Continued the Duke of Sussex: “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!’

“So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”

Harry concluded his statement with the Royal Marines motto, “Per Mare, Per Terram,” which translates to, “By Sea, By Land.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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