After being separated for a year both by physical distance and the rift between them, the two royals reunited over the weekend to honor their late grandfather. Harry and William walked behind Prince Philip’s coffin separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, but were later spotted cordially chatting with one another as they exited St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle following the funeral service. Historian and author of Battle of Brothers Robert Lacey told People that the ceremony’s “procession choreography, in retrospect, was a mistake. As we saw, they could have walked side-by-side quite happily after all. What pleased me afterward was that it all seemed so totally natural, and they drifted to each other like the old days.”
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace, however, said that Harry and William walking separately during the funeral procession and into the church was “a practical change rather than sending a signal.” They added, “This is a funeral and we are not going to be drawn into perceptions of drama. The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty’s wishes.” Sources close to Harry previously told Vanity Fair that he was nervous about coming home and attending the funeral, the emotion of the day, and what it would be like finally seeing William. But William’s wife Kate Middleton managed to play peacemaker between the estranged brothers after the service. As William chatted to the Dean of Westminster outside the chapel, she engaged Harry in conversation defusing the tense situation.
“It was a case of being told to put their differences aside by the Queen for the sake of the family,” a family friend confided to Vanity Fair. “William and other members of the family have some very strong feelings about some of the things Harry and Meghan said on Oprah and things need to be talked through, but this was not the occasion and everyone respected that. It’s going to take more than a wake to sort things out, but this is hopefully a start.” The Duke of Cambridge still seems wary of his sibling, a source added, “William needs to know he can trust Harry and that private conversations will stay private.”
But while these initial talks seem to bode well for the pairs’ future reconciliation during the unveiling of the statue dedicated to their late mother Princess Diana this summer, the brothers reunion was ultimately cut short. Harry headed back to California one day before Queen Elizabeth’s 95th birthday, reportedly arriving at LAX on Tuesday afternoon.
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