Queen orders Prince Harry and Prince William to be separated behind Philip's coffin

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By Mirror | 4 weeks ago
The funeral is bringing the two brothers together for the first time in a year [Image: UK Press via Getty Images]

The Queen has ordered that Prince Harry and Prince William are separated in the funeral procession behind their grandfather Prince Philip's coffin. The brothers will walk together but be separated by cousin Peter Phillips who will stand between them.

The royal funeral will bring the two brothers together for the first time in a year, following Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to walk away from the royal family. The Queen has signed off plans which will see Harry and William walking behind Philip's coffin as it makes its way to St George's Chapel.

She has decided on "each and every" detail of her husband's funeral to ensure his wishes are carried out as much as possible under the trying circumstances of the pandemic. Her Majesty is said to have insisted that nothing "detract from what the day is about, commemorating the extraordinary life of her husband".

When Philip's coffin is taken into St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, William will move ahead of his brother as the royal family arrives in pairs. A rift between Harry and William grew in the run-up to Megxit.

The pair performed their last royal engagement together in March 2020, although they did not speak or make eye contact during the event. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined William and Kate at Westminster Abbey for a Commonwealth Day Service.

Harry previously told ITV that he and William were 'on different paths' in response to reports about the brothers falling out. And Prince William was said to be left 'reeling' after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle conducted a tell-all interview with Oprah earlier this year.

The Duke of Cambridge subsequently told reporters "we are not a racist family" after couple claimed a senior royal asked how dark Archie's skin would be before he was born. But the Queen has now signed off on plans which will see the brothers reunited at Philip's funeral.

In a bid to spare Harry embarrassment, the monarch has ordered senior royals to forgo wearing military uniforms at the funeral. A royal source told The Mirror: "As with everything to do with the planning of the Duke's funeral, the Queen has decided on each and every detail, right down to the order of procession and making sure even in the current circumstances Prince Philip's wishes are carried out as much as possible.

"The Queen is determined that nothing should detract from what the day should be about and that is to commemorate the remarkable life of her beloved husband. The family are united in their grief for the loss of a much loved father, grandfather and family member and are determined to give the Duke a proper send-off."

Prince Harry and Prince William will be separated by a cousin as they walk behind Prince Philip's coffin [Courtesy]

Harry faced being the only member of the family to be wearing a suit after he was stripped of his honorary ranks when he quit his role as a senior royal. Both Harry and his wife gave up their His and Her Royal Highness titles after splitting from the Firm and agreed to stop using the term 'royal' in official correspondence.

In February, Harry was stripped of his honorary titles, such as Captain-General of the Royal Marines, by the Queen. This means the Duke of Sussex cannot wear corresponding military uniforms. The Royal Navy was also reportedly unhappy about the prospect of Prince Andrew wearing an admiral's uniform at the funeral, fearing the service could be dragged into a row.

Andrew was forced to step back from all royal roles following his disastrous appearance on BBC Newsnight in November 2019 exposing his relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Details of Philip's funeral have been released by Buckingham Palace and it has been confirmed the Queen - like all 30 guests invited to the service - will wear a face mask.

She will sit by herself in the quire of St George's Chapel, with all mourners following Covid guidelines and remaining socially distanced. Philip was the guiding force behind his funeral arrangements and, reflecting his life-long association with the Royal Navy, buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations during the service.

It is played on a warship to signal all hands should go to battle stations and is sometimes featured at funerals of naval men. A reduced choir of four singers will feature during the service and the guests will follow Covid rules and not sing.

Among the guests are the Duchess of Cornwall, all of the duke's grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen's sister Princess Margaret, and three of Philip's German relatives - Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Also invited is a close friend of the duke, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, who was Philip's carriage driving partner and one of his closest friends. Buckingham Palace confirmed that royal men will wear morning coats with their medals and the women will wear day dresses.

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