By Emma Dooney
Prince Harry arrived in London on Friday for the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue this week—and it looks like his transatlantic journey went a lot smoother than expected.
- Prince Harry arrived in the UK on Friday for the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue on 1 July.
- The Duke of Sussex, who was treated to a surprise travel perk upon landing at Heathrow Airport on Friday afternoon, was immediately driven to Frogmore Cottage to quarantine for 5 days.
- In other royal news, Prince Philip’s life is being celebrated at Windsor Castle—here’s how you can pay your respects.
If you're anything like us, you've probably been desperate to know has Prince Harry arrived in the UK yet—and we're delighted to confirm that, yes, he is finally back on his home turf.
The Duke of Sussex landed in the UK on Friday ahead of a memorial service for his late mother's 60th birthday, which is planned to take place at Kensington Palace on 1 July. The return marks his second visit home since he and Meghan Markle moved to the US last year, after announcing their withdrawal as senior royals in January 2020.
Luckily for Prince Harry, it seems that his trip got off to a good start—or, should we say, a head start. The Duke was safely chauffeured to LAX airport in his signature Cadillac on Thursday evening, before hopping on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London at 7 pm. The 5,318 miles journey from California to London normally takes about 11 hours and can take even longer due to the circumstances of the pandemic. For Harry though, it was royal treatment from the get-go.
Not only did the Duke dodge pesky delays on his trip, but his Boeing plane also touched down at Heathrow's Terminal 5 much earlier than expected. Prince Harry arrived in the UK at 12.37 pm GMT, nearly 40 minutes ahead of schedule.
Tensions between the Duke of Sussex and the Royal Family are said to be at an all-time high but it is expected that Prince Harry and Prince William will "put on a good show" at Diana's tribute, despite their recent feud.
Once Harry passed through airport security, the Duke of Sussex made the 20-minute commute to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. He is currently quarantining at the plush royal residence, where he previously lived with Meghan in 2018, for five days before he can mix safely with people.
If you're worried that the US-based royal might be lonely in a five-bedroom house all by himself, don't be—it looks like he's already had some VIP company. Just 30 minutes after Harry left Heathrow, the Queen was spotted driving herself from Windsor Castle to Frogmore Cottage. The long-reigning monarch, who was wearing a pair of black sunglasses for the 5-minute journey, is rumored to have reunited with her grandson in the outdoor space of the property.
Unfortunately, not everybody in the Royal Family is excited to welcome the Duke home. In light of their ongoing rift, it thought that Prince Charles has "no plans" to see Prince Harry on his visit to London.
The Prince of Wales will be on a trip to Scotland during his youngest son's stay and has reportedly made it "clear he is not going to be around" for the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue.
The high-profile event, which was originally planned for 2020, will be attended by a small number of guests at the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Prince Harry and Prince William had wanted to invite up to 100 people known to Princess Diana but were forced to narrow the list to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions.
It remains unclear whether or not Harry and William will be joined by the Duchess of Cambridge at the ceremony.
The future Queen was credited for playing mediator between the brothers at Prince Philip's funeral in April, but may not resume her peace-making role for their second reunion.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace on Friday shared new details on the attendee list, which includes the statue's sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, and the garden designer, Pip Morrison. Diana's close family members are also expected to make an appearance at the poignant event. The Duchess of Cambridge's name was notably absent from the update, prompting fans to assume Kate Middleton could be off the guestlist for Princess Diana's tribute.
Rumors had also circulated that the Duchess of Sussex would accompany her husband for the UK trip until sources confirmed that she would not be traveling due to her post-partum condition.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, on June 4, and are currently on parental leave as their settle the newborn in at their $14 million Santa Barbara mansion.
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