For the first time since stepping back from royal duties in March 2020, Prince Harry has returned to the UK to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, on Saturday, April 17 (via the BBC).
Following what will be an emotional ceremony in Windsor, the Duke of Sussex is expected to fly straight back to the U.S. to be reunited with his wife Meghan Markle in California. According to Page Six, Prince Harry reportedly has no desire to spend any more time in the UK than required after the funeral, as he doesn’t want to be away from the pregnant Duchess of Sussex for too long. Per Insider, Markle, who is now months into her pregnancy, was not given permission by her doctors to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as traveling overseas while pregnant in a pandemic is considered too high of a risk.
As the BBC reports, Prince Harry must adhere to the UK government’s coronavirus travel rules during his whistle-stop visit. These include taking a COVID-19 test with a negative result at least three days before departing, completing a passenger declaration form, and entering a ten-day quarantine upon arrival. However, as the United States is not currently featured on the UK government’s “red list,” the Duke will be permitted to stay at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor instead of a quarantine hotel.
Prince Harry will have to follow strict COVID-19 rules
Elsewhere, the UK government’s official COVID-19 guidance also states that mourners who have travelled from abroad are permitted to leave their place of quarantine “in limited circumstances, including on compassionate grounds,” which includes “attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend.”
According to the guidance, Prince Harry will be permitted to attend the funeral of his late grandfather. However, he must continue to self-isolate at all other times during his visit, and follow the current UK social distancing rules.
The Duke of Edinburgh died at the age of 99 on Friday, April 9, following a month-long stay in hospital. As Bustle reports, Prince Philip’s funeral will adhere to his final wishes, and be a much more low-key event than the usual state funeral someone of his royal stature would traditionally receive. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 17, in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the same location as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 wedding.
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