Prince William and Prince Harry will be ‘cleverly’ separated at Prince Philip’s funeral by royal relative

The brothers will not be walking shoulder to shoulder after all

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend an Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018 in London
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince William and Prince Harry will not be walking shoulder to shoulder at their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral and will instead be separated by another prominent royal.

Prince William and Prince Harry are preparing to see one another in person for the first time since Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family last year and settled in California. Now Harry has returned to the UK to join his family in mourning for Prince Philip, who passed away  at Windsor Castle last week. He was not accompanied by Meghan, who was reportedly advised against traveling due to her pregnancy. 

Both William and Harry have now broken their silence, paying tribute to their beloved grandfather, whom Harry referred to as a “legend of banter” as he often made humorous quips. The brothers will walk behind Prince Philip’s coffin as it is transported in a private procession to St George’s Chapel on Saturday 17th April for his funeral service. 

But while it was widely thought that the brothers would be walking shoulder to shoulder, it’s now been revealed that this won’t be the case. Instead, their cousin Peter Phillips, son of Princess Anne, will walk between them. 

Peter Phillips, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend 'The Patron's Lunch' celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

This is a choice that royal biographer Hugo Vickers has described as “clever” given the reported tension between William and Harry over Harry and Meghan’s shocking Oprah interview.

Why aren't Harry and William walking shoulder to shoulder at Prince Philip’s funeral?

As reported by The Mirror, Hugo was asked by Good Morning Britain Host Sean Fletcher about why William and Harry would not be walking into Prince Philip’s funeral together. 

In response Hugo explained, "Well actually what they have done is rather clever I think, you've got the four children of Prince Philip walking first, and then you've got three grandchildren, Prince Edward’s son is too small to walk so he is in the chapel."

Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are joined by members of the Royal Family for a dinner in Clarence House hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, on Sunday November 18, 2007

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

“Peter Phillips is the eldest grandson and he will walk between the two brothers, and so it's a sensible solution.”

Hugo also revealed that Peter is a particularly appropriate choice, given how he supported his cousins following Princess Diana’s death.

"Peter Phillips was good with William and Harry when Princess Diana was killed, he was up at Balmoral and he was a huge help to them,” Hugo said.

Can Prince Philip’s funeral help heal Prince William and Prince Harry’s relationship?

Given that Prince Philip is thought to have requested a particularly symbolic final call during his funeral as a “rallying cry”, it would be wonderful if his grandsons could become close once more. 

Royal biographer Hugo was then asked whether Prince Philip’s funeral could heal the so-called rift between the brothers following the Oprah interview, which saw Prince Harry describe his brother and father as “trapped” within the royal institution. 

“I think sometimes when people behave well together in public, which I am absolutely sure they will do, that makes it easier for them to behave better in private,” he replied. 

“Let's hope that this is, in fact, a turning point.”

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!