Prince Harry set for ‘a historically freighted royal face-off’ as Duke returns to UK

Prince Harry 'desperate' to see The Queen claims Nicholl

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Prince Philip peacefully died last Friday aged 99 at Windsor Castle as the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Royal commentators have warned that the Duke of Sussex’s return to the UK, after stepping back from royal duties and relocating to the US last year, will have the whole world watching.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hit international headlines after a bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.

The Sussexes spoke to the US chat show host about their decision to step down as senior royals.

Meghan and Harry’s allegations, particularly on race and mental health issues, led to calls for an investigation by Buckingham Palace.

Neither of the Sussexes have returned to the UK for over a year. Prince Philip’s funeral will mark the first time Harry and the Royal Family will be seen in public together since his US move.

Daniela Elser, Australian royal columnist, wrote on news.com.au that “Harry is now set to be reunited with his extended family.

“The scene is now set for a family drama of such proportions it would have William Shakespeare reaching for a fresh quill, with two royal factions preparing to come face-to-face for an historically freighted royal face-off which will involve TV cameras and the eyes of the world watching. No pressure.”

Ms Elser warned that the Royal Family’s every move will be watched by the gazing eyes of the world.

She said: “This Royal Family now faces the nightmare scenario of a sombre family occasion being subsumed by a tabloid frenzy, all body language experts and lip readers being brought in to scrutinise and parse every HRH’s blink and twitch.”

Ms Elser did highlight how the reunion will be a “mournful, dignified moment, one marked with the requisite solemnity and reflection”.

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But also warned “make no mistake, all eyes will be on” Prince Harry and Prince William after their alleged rift.

The heavily pregnant Meghan has not joined her husband in returning to the UK following advice from her doctor not to travel.

Harry is already reportedly in Britain and staying at his former Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage.

A source close to the Duchess told E! News that Meghan would have attended the funeral if she were not heavily pregnant.

They said the Sussexes are “still not on amazing terms with the family”.

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The source added: “Meghan wishes she could have flown to the UK to support her husband but has been advised not to due to her pregnancy.

“She would have put all the family tension aside to be there with Harry.

“Harry wants to make sure Meghan and the baby are healthy and not involved in stressful situations.”

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17 in St George’s Chapel.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 30 people will be allowed to attend the Duke’s funeral.

The Royal family has asked people who want to pay their respects to Prince Philip to stay at home and “follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe”.

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