Sandisiwe Mbhele

By Sandisiwe Mbhele

UX Content Writer


Will Prince Harry, Meghan attend Duke’s funeral? (And other questions we have)

The relationship Harry has with his family is certainly frosty and with Covid-19 who knows?


 

The news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, has reverberated around the world.

The royal consort, who recently spent more than a month in hospital and underwent a heart procedure, died on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99.

The palace said it “would join with people around the world in mourning his loss”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Duke of Edinburgh “earned the affection of generations” in the Commonwealth and across the world after serving in the Royal Navy and then over the decades as Britain’s longest serving royal consort.

ALSO READ: World leaders hail Prince Philip – ’embodied a generation’

The news has raised a few questions since his death happens in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the state of the royal family after the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Here are six questions we had after Prince Philip’s death:

1. Will Prince Harry attend the Duke’s funeral?

Harry has had a conflicted relationship with the royal family since he married former actress Meghan. This hasn’t helped after their eye-opening interview with broadcasting legend Oprah. Claims of racism, lack of care, abandonment and mental health hasn’t ended well for the couple.

Harry has repeatedly talked about his close relationship with his grandmother, the Queen and the influence of Prince Philip’s duties in the navy. This is one of the reasons why he joined the army. It would be interesting to see if he attends the funeral considering his strained relationship between his brother, Prince William, and father Prince Charles.

2. Will Meghan make an appearance?

Markle’s name was unfortunately associated with many memes and jokes after the announcement of Prince Philip’s death. With her short tumultuous stint in the royal family, the decision by the couple to leave their royal duties and move to America was all blamed on Meghan. The anti Meghan agenda by some in the British press may be considering the same thing – will she attend?

ALSO READ: Lesson from Meghan Markle: How to walk away from toxic families

After she claimed a family member asked how dark Archie’s skin tone would be and her reluctance to name the member has placed doubt on her claim. Meghan’s possible appearance at the Duke’s funeral or any private gatherings might surprise her critics, including a certain Piers Morgan.

3. Will there be a national funeral?

A state funeral in the UK are usually limited to sovereigns but may, by order of the sovereign, and on the recommendation of Parliament which votes the money to fund it, be extended to exceptionally distinguished persons, The Times UK reported.

The last royal family member to receive a state funeral was the Princess of Wales, Diana, which was attended by people en masse and televised around the world. Due to Covid-19 this type of send-off may be unlikely despite the country embarking on a mass vaccination drive.

4. Will the Queen take a step back?

As the longest reigning monarch in the UK for 68 years, questions may arise about where the queen goes from here. Will she look at stepping down and allowing her successor, Prince Charles become king?  These questions may never be answered by the palace, but it is expected the Queen will likely reign until her death.

5. A televised funeral?

Whilst sovereign state funerals are funded by the Queen, details of the funeral will be made public in the coming days including whether it will be televised. Princess Diana’s funeral was watched by 2 billion people.

6. Was he a villain or hero?

Prince Philip’s family history isn’t as decorated as his life came to be. Before meeting Elizabeth, some of his family members were supporters of the Nazi regime and his comments in the past have landed him in hot water.

There have been reports of his “little racist” jibes and cringeworthy comments. One such was in 2013 at the unveiling of a £5 million (R 100 million) cardiac centre at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, when Philip turned to a Filipino nurse and said: “The Philippines must be half empty – you’re all here running the NHS, ” Joe Magazine reported.

Many royal experts defended the prince, saying this was his dark sense of humour coming into play.

(By: Sandisiwe Mbhele)