Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will miss Prince Philip’s upcoming memorial service amid his battle with the UK government over security, Page Six can confirm. A spokesperson for the Sussexes told us: “The Duke will not be returning to the UK in late March, but hopes to visit his grandmother as soon as possible.”
The California-based Duke of Sussex has been embroiled in a legal fight with the Home Office about his protection in his homeland. It had been expected that Harry and Meghan would attend the service for his grandfather, who died last April at age 99, and finally introduce their 9-month-old daughter, Lilibet, to the royal family.
But, as we revealed, it seemed increasingly likely the couple would skip the service of thanksgiving, to be held at Westminster Abbey on March 29, over security concerns.
The Queen will be joined by other senior royals, including Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his brother, Prince William — alongside disgraced Prince Andrew.
Last month, Harry declared that his family is “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, his rep said.
He claimed that the government will not allow him to pay for police protection for his family while in the UK. Despite this, as we reported, Harry could feasibly travel back to the UK as the memorial will be covered by government security, although it looked unlikely that Meghan, son Archie, 2, and Lilibet would join him.
Harry launched the legal bid after he was chased by a pack of photographers from an event for children’s charity WellChild in London last summer. The Sussexes have their own security in the US, but sources previously told us that their privately paid-for team has no authority whatsoever in the UK.
One royal source said: “If and when he (Harry) decides to go back to the UK, he needs security.” Harry and Markle have not been back to the UK together since their departure from royal life in March 2020. Harry attended his grandfather’s funeral in April 2021, but Meghan — who was heavily pregnant with Lilibet at the time — remained in the US.
Last month, reps for Harry revealed he has twice petitioned the UK government to allow him to pay for his own police security, including a request for a judicial review of the matter in September 2021, so “as not to impose on the British taxpayer.” Both times his request was denied.