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EXCLUSIVE: Meghan Markle didn’t join her husband Prince Harry for Prince Philip’s funeral – and some royal experts believe it was the right decision for the couple.
The Duke of Sussex touched down in the U.K. on Monday for the first time since last year. The 36-year-old will join his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the British royal family for his grandfather’s funeral on Saturday, April 17.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on Friday at age 99.
The Duchess of Sussex stayed behind in California. The 39-year-old, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, was advised by her doctor not to attend. In November 2020, the former American actress revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July of that year and was admitted to the hospital.
The Duchess of Sussex is currently expecting her second child.
(Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The couple’s second child, a baby girl, is due this summer.
“The pregnancy has given Meghan a very real reason not to be here and I do feel for her,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News. “No matter what her decision was going to be, critics would have used it against her.”
The award-winning documentarian has been making programs about the royal family for nearly 20 years and has worked closely with Harry’s father Prince Charles for eight.
Bullen said that if the former American actress was allowed to travel overseas, he believes she would have been welcomed despite the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired in March.
Prince Harry (left) is in the U.K. for the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip (right).
“I think if she had come back, I believe the family would have been very welcoming towards her,” he explained. “The queen made it very clear in her statement that Harry and Meghan are much loved members of the royal family and they are always welcome in their family. So I do think she would have been welcomed back. All anybody wants right now is for the damage to be repaired and for everybody to move forward.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California.
(Photo by Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“Harry has already suffered so much loss that any reasonable person who understands the love that he and Meghan share will recognize that she can and does support him in his time of mourning for his grandfather, without physically standing by his side at the duke’s memorial service,” she explained.
“The flamethrowers might want to imagine how emotionally ruined a man like Harry might be if Meghan did risk traveling with him and something happened to her health and/or to that of the child she is carrying – their unborn daughter.”
In a statement from Harry previously obtained by Fox News, the royal paid tribute to his beloved grandfather.
“My grandfather was a man of service, honor and great humor. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm — and also because you never knew what he might say next,” he began.
Prince Harry (left) and Prince William (right) have shared personal tributes in honor of their late grandfather Prince Philip (center).
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.”
Harry thanked his grandpa for his service, dedication, and for “always being yourself.”
“You will be sorely missed, but always remembered — by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts,” the duke concluded. “‘Per Mare, Per Terram.’”
The palace confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9.
In this June 8, 1948 file photo, the Duke of Edinburgh seated beside Princess Elizabeth, acknowledges the cheers of the crowd as the open Landau passes through Fleet Street on way to the Guildhall in London. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died, it was announced on Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 99. Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle. Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, married Elizabeth in 1947 and was the longest-serving consort in British history.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said in a statement. “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Elizabeth, 94, has entered into an eight-day period of mourning and will not be performing any royal duties.
Philip is survived by the queen and their four children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – as well as eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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