Why Prince Harry’s return for Prince Philip’s funeral could heal rift

Prince Philip’s funeral could turn out to be the opportunity Prince Harry needed to repair the “deep damage” caused by his and his wife Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, royal experts say.

“United in grief” with his family, the Duke of Sussex will return to the UK for his grandfather’s funeral, it has been confirmed, following talks with Prince Charles.

Meghan Markle, who is expecting the couple’s second child, will stay in the US.

This will be Prince Harry’s first trip home since quitting royal life and moving to California – and the first time he will face his family since the explosive interview with Oprah last month.

For royal experts, this time to mourn could also turn out to be a time to heal.

Author and royal expert Penny Junor believes the family will “pull together” for the Queen’s sake.

“My hope is that if something good can come out of the Duke’s death it will be that it brings the family together,” she said, speaking to the MailOnline.

“But clearly there is a lot of hurt there on all sides, and I imagine they will all be feeling apprehensive about seeing one another again.

“With luck, their desire to support the Queen and pull together for her sake, which I am sure is what the Duke would have wanted, will win the day.”

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams also believes a “show of unity” is vital for repairing the rift in the family.

“Harry will undoubtedly want to be there and this might start a process which helped to heal the current royal rift,” he said.

“His grandfather would undoubtedly welcome it if the monarchy, the institution he spent his life supporting, was strengthened as a result of the start of a reconciliation which began after his death.”

Prince Harry is reportedly arranging to fly back to Britain as soon as possible.

“He said he wants to be with everyone and was already making arrangements to come home,” insiders told the Daily Mirror.

Prince Philip’s funeral will not be a state affair but rather a small private service, as per his wishes.

“Harry will absolutely do his utmost to get back to the UK and be with his family,” a source told the Daily Mail.

“He will want nothing more than to be there for his family, and particularly his grandmother, during this awful time.

“Meghan is obviously pregnant so she will need to take advice from her doctors about whether it is safe for her to travel, but I think Harry will definitely go.”

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