Lilibet and Archie not coming to UK as Harry aims to shield children

Queen: Expert discusses Lilibet and Archie's presence for funeral

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not expected to fly their children, Archie and Lilibet, over from California to attend the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday, September 19.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK to pay their respects to the late monarch last week but their children appear to have remained at their Montecito mansion. The couple is “unlikely” to fly their children across the pond for the Queen’s funeral as Harry is “keen” to shield them from grief, a royal expert has claimed.  

Bryony Gordon said Harry hopes to shield his children from similar painful experiences he dealt with as a child when his mother, Princess Diana, tragically died. 

Writing for the Telegraph, she said: “As for Archie and Lilibet, it seems unlikely that they will be flown over to the UK, as has been rumoured. The Duke is keen to shield them from the painful experiences he had as a child, the most agonising of which involved having to walk behind his mother’s coffin at age 12”.

She said the passing of the Queen is likely to bring up painful memories for the two brothers, whose mother passed away 25 years ago. 

Speaking about the harrowing experience, five years ago Harry spoke to Ms Gordon about his difficulties processing the tragedy, saying in an interview: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well. 

“I have probably been close to a complete breakdown on a number of occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming from you from every angle. 

“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” 

Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK to join other members of the Firm as they entered into a 10-day mourning period for the late sovereign, who died at her Balmoral estate on Thursday. 

The couple reunited with Prince William and Kate on Saturday to take part in a 40-minute walkabout outside Buckingham Palace, where they met with greiving members of the public and witnessed tributes laid out for the late Queen. 

It was the first time the brothers appeared in public together since the unveiling of a statue of their late mother, Princess Diana in July 2021.

Harry and Meghan’s two children, Archie and Lilibet, have not joined their parents in the UK and have remained in California, where the family now live. 

Following the Queen’s death, the father-of-two released a heartfelt statement in memory of his late grandmother, which Ms Gordon described as being “straight from the heart”. 

She said the bond between Harry and his grandmother has “never been in doubt”, and seemed to have been strengthened by a “shared sense of humour” and “cheekiness”. 

It also included a mention of his father, King Charles III, who expressed his own love and well wishes for Harry and Meghan’s new life “across the pond” during his first address to the nation as King. 

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Harry’s statement read: “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.

“I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.

“And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.”

He concluded: “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”

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