Prince Harry returns to US to support Meghan Markle after family death

Prince Harry returned to the US after Princess Diana's statue unveiling yesterday to support his grieving wife

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
(Image credit: Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Imagess)

Prince Harry has returned to the US, after hearing tragic news about one of Meghan Markle's relatives. 


Prince Harry has returned to the US, after receiving an upsetting update from his wife in California. 

The Duke of Sussex left for Heathrow Airport almost immediately after Princess Diana's statue unveiling images were snapped, bringing his six-day trip to the UK to a close. The speedy return was likely connected to the recent sad news for Meghan Markle, whose 'proud' uncle Michael died aged 81 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. 

Prince Harry arrived in London on June 25 to attend Princess Diana's statue unveiling on 1 July, the date of her 60th birthday. He entered self-isolation at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor after leaving the airport, where he reportedly met the Queen outside for a long-awaited reunion. After completing his five-day quarantine, he emerged for his first public event in the UK since Prince Philip's funeral in April. 

The poignant memorial service also saw the Duke appear alongside his brother Prince William for the second time in 18 months. Prior to the death of their grandfather, they had not seen each other face-to-face in over a year. 

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

(Image credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

(Image credit: YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Meghan and Harry moved to California with their son, Archie, in early 2020, after formally announcing their withdrawal as senior royals. Tensions between the brothers have reportedly been high since the controversial exit, and recent stateside accusations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex against the Royal Family have only escalated matters. 

Despite their feud, it was expected that Prince Harry and Prince William would ‘put on a good show’ at Diana tribute—and that they did. The two stood in solidarity to unveil Princess Diana's statue at Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace yesterday, teaming up to gracefully reveal the lifesized sculpture from its green sheath. 

The brothers then both took a moment to silently pay their respects to their late mother, who died tragically in a car crash in 1997. They also shared a few words with each other about the statue, before being joined by Princess Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: (left to right) Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes and Earl Spencer, with their nephew Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the unveiling of a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. Today would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, who died in 1997. At a ceremony here today, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes and Earl Spencer, with their nephew Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the unveiling of a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. Today would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, who died in 1997. At a ceremony here today, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory.

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Once the statue unveiling had officially ended, Prince William and Prince Harry honored Princess Diana in a heart-breaking post stating 'every day, we wish she were still with us'

"Our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy," they wrote in the joint statement shared on Instagram and Twitter. The poignant message also thanked all those involved in the creation of the project, including the designers of the statue and garden, as well as donors and supportive friends. 

The bronze statue was first commissioned in 2017 but its unveiling was delayed several times due to unforeseen circumstances. Prince Harry and Prince William had hoped to invite 100 people to the big reveal yesterday but were forced to downscale the numbers at the last minute to adhere to new coronavirus restrictions. 

The reduced guest list of just 13 people included Ian Rank-Broadley, the statue's sculptor, and Pip Morrison, the garden's designer. 

Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley poses alongside his statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, unveiled by her sons Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - The bronze statue depicts the princess surrounded by three children to represent the "universality and generational impact" of her work. Her short cropped hair, style of dress and portrait are based on the final period of her life. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with her name and the date of the unveiling, and in front is a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by The Measure of A Man poem

Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley poses alongside his statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, unveiled by her sons Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - The bronze statue depicts the princess surrounded by three children to represent the "universality and generational impact" of her work. Her short cropped hair, style of dress and portrait are based on the final period of her life. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with her name and the date of the unveiling, and in front is a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by The Measure of A Man poem

(Image credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A number of Princess Diana's close relatives were also in attendance. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes, emerged for a rare public appearance to honor their late sister. They were accompanied by Earl Spencer, Diana's younger brother, who made the trip down from Diana's childhood home of Althorp House for the special occasion. 

Princess Diana's statue unveiling guest list also revealed a surprising link to Meghan Markle. Julia Samuels, a British psychotherapist and friend of the late royal, was one of the privileged few to attend the ceremony. According to the Times, she also treated Meghan Markle for her mental health struggles when Buckingham Palace allegedly refused her calls for help. 

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Princess Diana was good friends with Julia Samuels

(Image credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

The statue unveiling was notably lacking in Windsors, with both Prince Charles and the Queen nowhere to be seen at the memorial service. According to a royal insider, the Prince of Wales has always found tributes to his ex-wife "terribly difficult" and prefers to "leave his sons to it" when it comes to celebrating their mother's legacy. He is understood to be currently staying at the Queen's Scottish holiday home, Balmoral Castle

Kate Middleton was also absent, having reportedly already seen the statue with Prince William and their three children in a private viewing.

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.