Meghan Markle told not to travel to Philip’s funeral but Harry will be there

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Meghan Markle has been told by a doctor not to travel to Prince Philip's funeral.

The Duchess of Sussex is currently pregnant, but husband Prince Harry will attend.

It has been confirmed that the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will take place on April 17 at 3pm.

The Duke of Sussex will make the journey from the couple's home in California and will be following Covid-19 protocols for the trip, as well as during his visit.

It is understood that Meghan, who is pregnant with her second child, had made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.

The duke and duchess posted a tribute to Philip on the website of their foundation Archewell on Friday.

It reads simply: "In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021.

"Thank you for your service… You will be greatly missed."

It was posted against a sombre brown background.

Harry has not returned to the UK since stepping down as a senior royal just over a year ago.

It also be the first time he has seen his family in person since his and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey – in which they accused the royal family of racism and the institution failing to support a suicidal Meghan.

The two-hour interview was aired while Philip was in hospital after surgery on his heart.

The Queen issued a statement saying "while some recollections may vary", the issues would be taken "very seriously", but dealt with privately as a family.

The Duke of Cambridge, in a rare move on a royal engagement, spoke out publicly saying "We're very much not a racist family", as the royals' ability to carry out official duties linked to diversity, inclusion and mental health was called into question.

  • Prince Philip's funeral date and details confirmed by Palace including minute's silence

Harry told Oprah Winfrey that he felt let down by his father the Prince of Wales and that "there's a lot of hurt that's happened" between them, and that his relationship with his brother William was "space" but he loved him to bits.

Currently, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate from arrival and for the first full 10 days after they arrive.

But Harry will be entitled to leave his place of self-isolation on compassionate grounds to attend the funeral.

He could also be released from quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme.

The pregnant Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her doctor not to travel to the UK for the funeral, but the Duke of Sussex will attend, a Palace spokesman said.

The Duke of Edinburgh's final farewell will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to pay tribute.

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip's ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute's silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

The duke's coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister's recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke's children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation's longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.

The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for the duke's funeral plans – were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family "mourning his loss".

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle on Saturday, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: "The Queen has been amazing."

The Duke of York also arrived at Windsor on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.

Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke.

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