Princes William and Harry, who were reportedly cold, walked side by side behind the coffin of their grandmother Elizabeth II during her funeral on Monday, solemnly but without any sign of emotion or reconciliation.
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To the sound of bagpipes, they marched behind their father, the new King Charles III, their Uncles Andrew and Edward, and their Aunt Anne, from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, and then, after the religious ceremony attended by dignitaries from around the world , to move around Hyde Park, from where the coffin traveled to Windsor Castle in a royal hearse.
Twenty-five years ago, the images of the two brothers, aged 12 and 15, running headlong behind their mother Diana’s coffin in solidarity had moved the entire planet.
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On Monday, William, whose father Charles III. inherited the title of Prince of Wales, his military uniform, like his father Prince Edward and his aunt Princess Anne. Like them, he repeatedly performed the military salute towards his grandmother and his ruler while his brother abstained.
Harry, who lives in California with his wife Meghan and their two children, left the royal family with a bang in 2020, losing the right to wear his uniform and wearing a black frock coat but adorned with his medals.
Tensions or Protocol? William’s wife Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey accompanied by their children Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, with Meghan by her side. But again without exchanging a look or gesture that might indicate a rapprochement between the “fantastic four,” as the British press had dubbed them before their estrangement after Harry and Meghan’s departure in California.
William, now heir to the crown, Kate and their two eldest (Louis, 4, was absent) sat in the front row for the religious ceremony. Harry and Meghan took second place.
Before Elizabeth II’s death, the two couples had not been seen together in public for more than two years, save for the religious ceremony marking her 70-year reign last June. They hadn’t exchanged a look then.
Last week, the quartet caused a surprise by admiring the flowers placed outside Windsor Castle in honor of the Queen.
They had then driven away in the same car but faces were closed, interactions minimal.
William and Harry also attended a wake for Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren around the coffin of the much-loved sovereign, who died on September 8 at the age of 96 after more than 70 years of reign.
Prince Harry, who also holds the title Duke of Sussex, is preparing to publish his memoir, which could strain relations between the two couples again after Harry and Meghan last year accused Harry and Meghan of shocking an interview with American star presenter Oprah Winfrey with an unidentified member of the royal family of racism towards them.