After sitting in the second row of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were spotted in the same section as Prince William and Princess Kate for the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel.
The Princess of Wales arrived at the pew first, stepping back so Meghan, 41, could enter with Harry following. His niece, Princess Charlotte, followed behind the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex. Kate, 40, filed in after her 7-year-old daughter. Prince George, 9, sat in between his mother and his father, William 38.
While King Charles III, Harry and William were part of the procession leading their grandmother’s casket from Westminster Abbey, Kate rode with her two eldest children and Queen Consort Camilla. After the ceremony, Meghan, who was in the car with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was seen getting visibly emotional, wiping away a tear. Charlotte also burst into tears as they honored her great-grandmother.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the queen’s death on September 8. Britain’s longest reigning monarch was 96 when she passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
King Charles, who was formally known as Prince Charles, was by his mother’s side when news broke that she died. Prince William, who is next in line for the throne, arrived at the family’s Scotland estate before the announcement was made, but Harry didn’t make it until later that day, according to reports.
“This is such an intensely difficult time for the princes,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, September 15. “They both adored their grandma and it will take some time to process the reality of her passing.”
Despite feeling “fortune beyond words” to have had such a long relationship with Her Majesty, both the Prince of Wales, 40, and his younger sibling are feeling her absence.
“There’s still this horrendous sense of loss and emptiness thinking that she’ll no longer be around,” the insider said, noting that the brothers “console themselves with the fact she’s at peace with their grandfather in heaven and watching over them and in their hearts forever.” (Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, died in April 2021 at the age of 99.)
During their grieving process, Charles and his children have been able to spend a lot of time together following years of turmoil. Harry, who stepped down from his senior royal duties alongside Meghan in 2020, has experienced highs and lows with his family for years. The tension grew in 2021 when the duo dished on The Firm during their explosive CBS tell-all interview, which aired one month after their exit was made permanent.
The couple’s relationship with Harry’s relatives, however, has appeared to take a positive turn this month after Charles gave them a shout-out in his first speech as the monarch on September 9, sending them “love” as they “continue to build their lives overseas” in California.
“I think the king has made it very clear that he wants to heal the rift,” royal expert Gareth Russell exclusively told Us following the address. “Family dynamics, of course, are always complicated, but I think we can all see that there’s a great deal of pain.”
William also extended an olive branch to his brother and sister-in-law when he invited them to join him and Kate to greet mourners in Windsor on September 10.
“For all of their differences in the past, many of which still linger, this was what The Queen would have wanted and William knew very well that it was no time to be holding onto grudges or distancing himself from his brother,” a source exclusively told Us of the outing. “They needed to put on a united front and pay their respects for her sake as well as the monarchy as a whole and the people she served so tirelessly during her reign.”
The positive steps, unfortunately, haven’t completely mended the group’s relationships, according to royal expert Christopher Andersen.
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“Harry and Meghan still are uneasy,” the Brothers and Wives author claimed exclusively to Us on Tuesday, September 13. “We’ve seen that in a recent interview that Meghan gave. It’ll take an awful lot, I think, for those to get things back to where they were, and it’s all sad.”
Andersen explained that while Charles wants “all hands on deck, and that means having both William and Harry as partners as well,” he thinks “the relationship with Harry and William is still dicey.”