Harry arrives back in UK for Prince Philip's funeral without Meghan

12 April 2021, 10:02 | Updated: 13 April 2021, 05:19

Prince Harry has returned to the UK for his grandfather's funeral
Prince Harry has returned to the UK for his grandfather's funeral. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Prince Harry has arrived back in the UK for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral without his pregnant wife Meghan.

The Duke of Sussex is believed to have arrived at Heathrow Airport on a British Airways flight from his new home in Los Angeles at 1:15pm on Saturday.

It marks the prince's first trip back to Britain since stepping down from royal duties and taking part in the bombshell Oprah interview with the Duchess of Sussex.

Harry was met by police officers and security personnel upon landing and was driven away in a Range Rover, according to The Sun newspaper.

Over the weekend, Buckingham Palace confirmed he would be returning to the UK for the funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on Saturday.

However, Meghan Markle has been advised not to join him because she is heavily pregnant.

Read more: William and Harry to walk behind Prince Philip’s coffin at funeral

Read more: PM will not attend Philip's funeral so family members can have seats

It is believed the prince will be staying at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace as his former Frogmore Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle is now occupied by Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.

Harry will not have time to complete the obligatory 10 days of quarantine.

However, government guidelines allow people to temporarily leave where they are quarantining on "compassionate grounds", such as for attending funerals.

The guidance says: “This includes attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend.”

The duke will have been required to provide a negative Covid-19 test prior to travel.

He must also provide the address of his isolation residence and two more negative tests while in Britain.

Read more: Harry will attend funeral but Meghan will not due to pregnancy

Read more: 'Ceremonial' funeral for Prince Philip to take place on Saturday

Harry will join his brother Prince William in walking behind their grandfather's coffin at his funeral on Saturday.

The service will be like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell amid coronavirus restrictions.

Only 30 people - expected to be Philip's children, grandchildren and other close family members - will attend as guests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given up his seat at the funeral to allow a family member to attend, No10 said.

While all public elements of the funeral - to take place entirely on the grounds of Windsor castle - have been cancelled, it will be televised.

As the procession makes its way through the grounds, Charles will be joined by senior royals - but not the Queen - walking behind the coffin and followed by Philip's household, the most senior figure his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell.

The route will be lined by representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF and the Service chiefs will walk ahead of the coffin, with the cortege led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Dean of Windsor David Conner are expected to officiate at the service.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday.

On Saturday, gun salutes were fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute.

A Palace spokesman said the royal family hoped the coming days would be seen as a chance to celebrate the duke's "remarkable life".