Prince Charles ‘walked and talked’ with Prince Harry before ‘family summit’ following funeral – as Duke of Sussex is set to miss Queen’s birthday by flying back to LA today, sources claim
- Source told MailOnline that Charles and Harry spent some time together following Prince Philip’s funeral
- Then had a ‘family meeting’, during which source says they began looking at hundreds of condolence letters
- The Duke of Sussex is now set to miss the Queen’s birthday by flying back to Los Angeles today, it is claimed
Prince Charles ‘walked and talked’ with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle after his father the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral before taking part in a ‘family summit’, a source said today.
The Duke of Sussex is now set to miss the Queen’s birthday by flying back to Los Angeles today, it is claimed. It is not clear what flight he may return on but there is a British Airways one leaving later today.
The source told MailOnline this morning: ‘Harry and Charles walked and talked at Windsor after the funeral. My understanding is that Harry goes back today. They talked with Harry as a family.’
It is not clear what was discussed at the meeting, but the source said they began the ‘long task’ of looking at condolence letters send from around the world.’
It comes as a royal expert said that the Queen’s new puppies will play an important role as she continues to mourn for her beloved husband of 73 years.
Prince Harry (left) and Prince Charles (right) at Philip’s funeral in Windsor Castle on Saturday, where they walked behind his personalised Land Rover hearse
Meghan and Harry personally chose the locally-sourced flowers for their wreath (second from right) – including Acanthus mollis and Eryngium. Pictured: Wreaths from members of the royal family lie against the pews during the funeral
Meghan Markle left a handwritten card on a wreath for the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel on the day of his funeral.
The Duchess of Sussex – who is around six-months pregnant with Prince Harry’s second child – was advised not to make the 10-hour flight to Britain for the funeral by her physician.
Instead, she watched the ceremony – which began at 7am Pacific time – on television from her and Harry’s £11million mansion in California while the Duke of Sussex attended.
A wreath from the couple was earlier left in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, to mark their respects, sources told PA news agency.
Meghan and Harry personally chose the locally-sourced flowers for their tribute – including Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breeches), the national flower of Greece, to represent Philip’s heritage, and Eryngium (sea holly), to represent the Royal Marines.
The wreath also features campanula for gratitude and everlasting love, rosemary to signify remembrance, lavender for devotion, and roses in honour of June being Philip’s birth month.
Harry made the 10-hour flight to Britain for the funeral this week while his wife Meghan – who is around seven-months pregnant with their second child – remained in LA.
Arrivals from the US must quarantine for 10 days upon landing – but can leave after five days if they provide a negative test under the Government’s Test to Release scheme.
Harry was allowed to attend the funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday in line with Government rules that make exceptions for such occasions.
He arrived in England last Saturday, which means – should he have tested negative – the duke no longer needs to isolate in Windsor.
He is understood to be based in Frogmore Cottage for the rest of his stay. He and Meghan lived in the house on the Windsor estate during their time as senior royals.
It is there that he is said to have met Prince Charles, just weeks after the Sussexes plunged the monarchy into crisis when they accused the royals of racism and the institution of failing to support Meghan when she was suicidal in their Oprah Winfrey interview.
Following the bombshell tell-all – which included Harry’s claim that he needed to ‘educate’ his relatives – Prince Charles was said to be ‘deeply hurt’ but resolved to ‘mend the broken relationship’ with his son.
Poignant images from Philip’s funeral on Saturday showed the Queen sitting alone in St George’s Chapel at Windsor, and on Wednesday she will mark her 95th birthday – only able to meet those outside her household in the open air.
But the grieving Queen will have two lively new companions – a corgi called Muick and a dorgi named Fergus – running around her feet and providing a ‘distraction’, along with her elderly dorgi Candy.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said: ‘The thinking was enough was enough, and that she was getting too old for new dogs and who would look after them when she was gone.
‘But clearly that decision was reversed and, as it turned out, it probably is very fortuitous. I think it’s useful to have these puppies in her life now as way of a distraction.’
The Queen’s life-long love of horses and dogs is well known and, while Philip spent his final period in hospital, it emerged the Queen had been given the puppies.
Prince Harry speaks to Prince William as they leave the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoon
The source told MailOnline this morning: ‘Harry and Charles walked and talked at Windsor after the funeral. My understanding is that Harry goes back today. They talked with Harry as a family.’ Pictured: Prince Philip’s funeral
Mr Little believes that, while Buckingham Palace will remain the seat of the royal court, the Queen may make Windsor Castle her permanent home, travelling to the capital for official events.
The Queen’s birthday will fall during the period of royal mourning so any public events to mark it – such as the release of an official picture – are likely to be cancelled.
Mr Little said: ‘She will mark her first birthday as a widow, and 95 is quite a significant birthday.
‘I don’t think there would have been a fuss made of it, but nevertheless 95 is quite something. This is going to be a private day for her and that’s how it should be.
‘Royal mourning continues until Friday so that makes it even more of a sombre occasion.’
In paying tribute to Philip, who died peacefully at Windsor on April 9, aged 99, members of the royal family have been rallying to the Queen’s side and said they will continue to support her in the future.
The Queen returned to public duties a few days after the death of her ‘beloved’ husband and is expected to return to a full diary of official events after the period of royal mourning ends this week.
Mr Little added: ‘I think she will be personally devastated by this, but I don’t think the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, is going to impact on her working role.
‘I think, as monarch, although she doesn’t have him there for guidance, I think her role will continue pretty much as it has for the last 69 years.
‘There’s the public queen and there’s the private queen, and she’s great at being able to compartmentalise.’
Frogmore Cottage was Harry’s old address where he previously lived with his wife Meghan Markle
The Queen has been spending the lockdown at Windsor Castle with a reduced number of staff and aides dubbed HMS Bubble and, under Covid regulations, will be restricted in the number of birthday well-wishers she can see outside.
But Philip’s funeral would have provided the opportunity for her to speak with the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and her other grandchildren.
Asked about the funeral during a briefing, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman highlighted that Boris Johnson had observed the national minute’s silence in memory of the duke on Saturday afternoon.
He added: ‘Alongside many of us across the country, he thought that the funeral was a poignant and fitting tribute to a much-loved and highly respected public figure, whose extraordinary life we will forever remember with gratitude for his decades of selfless service to this country.’
Sources told the Telegraph official and personal duties cannot be decided separately because they are too closely linked.
Prince Charles is said to be taking the lead in the talks due to him becoming king first and because any immediate decisions will impact his reign.
But he is understood to have wanted his son the Duke of Cambridge involved every step of the way for major policies that affect him when he inherits the throne.
Meanwhile Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are believed to be stepping into the void left by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit.
Insiders revealed Charles, William and the Queen (pictured on Saturday) will need to discuss whether to continue with thousands of engagements annually or cut them down
They are expected to take on bigger roles despite already fulfilling 544 duties as of the last year before the coronavirus lockdown.
Harry and Meghan did 558 jobs between them in 2019, meaning the Royals have to review how these will be redistributed.
Prince Andrew, who stepped back from duties after his Newsnight interview over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, also has roles that may need to be dished out.
The Duke of York, Prince Philip and Prince Harry have hundreds of patronages and military titles that now need to be taken on.
The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are expected to decide over the next few weeks and months how they will tackle the issues.
They are said to have rocketed in importance for the Queen and Charles after Harry and Meghan’s review period ended last month.
But the decline in the Duke of Edinburgh’s health followed by his death just over a week ago shifted the focus.
The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge (pictured with the other royals on Saturday) are expected to decide over the next few weeks and months how they will tackle the issues
Prince Charles had wanted a smaller monarchy made up of the Queen, Prince Philip, himself, his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges and Prince Harry.
In these plans the Duke of Sussex was expected to help out until William and Kate’s children George, Charlotte and Louis grew up and took on roles.
Insiders revealed Charles, William and the Queen will need to discuss whether to continue with thousands of engagements annually or cut them down.
A source said: ‘The question is whether you start off by deciding how many patronages and engagements there should be, and then work out how many people are needed to achieve them, or whether you decide how many people there should be, which will dictate how many engagements and patronages they can take on.’
Prince Charles took part in 550 Royal duties in 2019 while the Duke of Cambridge focused on 220.
Prince William is believed to prefer a targeted approach so he can lend more support to each cause.
Currently around 15 members of the Royal Family take part in more than 3,000 duties per year.
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