Prince Harry‘s decision to skip Prince Philip‘s memorial service could worsen the growing rift with his family.
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the royal confirmed that the Duke of Sussex would not attend after widespread speculation.
As previously reported by Monsters & Critics, the 37-year-old accused the Home Office of refusing to provide his family with police protection upon returning to the UK.
A February 2020 decision by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee also prevented Prince Harry from paying police protection while visiting his former country of residence.
Royal expert criticizes Prince Harry for not attending his grandfather’s memorial
Robert Jobson, a royal family expert and author, believes Prince Harry does not have a valid excuse for not attending Prince Phillips’s memorial.
“It’s disappointing [because there] doesn’t appear to be any serious reason why he can’t be there,” he told Us Weekly, continuing: “He’s going to Holland for the Invictus Games shortly afterward.”
The memorial service will take place on March 29, about one year after Philip’s death, in April last year at age 99.
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle relocated his family to California amid growing tension with the royal family in 2020.
He returned to England to attend Phillip’s funeral, and in July 2021, he joined his brother Prince William for the unveiling of a statue of his mother, Princess Diana, in July 2021 on what would have been her 60th birthday.
Jobson dismisses Harry’s security concerns, calling his refusal to attend “disrespectful,” noting the close relationship he shared with his grandfather.
“I think any young man, particularly the one who was guided so well by the Duke of Edinburgh [should be there].”
The Queen returns to public life with Prince Phillip’s memorial
The memorial service may also mark the Queen’s return to public events following her battle with COVID-19.
In February, the 95-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 after a meeting with her son, Prince Charles, who also contracted the virus.
The monarch had continued to carry out light duties, but she canceled virtual engagements leading to public concern about her health.
Jobson believes that the British head of state should be realistic about her health, telling Us Weekly: “She’s recovered from COVID[-19] and that’s a great thing, but I think that you must accept that [at 95], there will be occasions where she hopes to be at events and she can’t be at them even if she really wants to be,” he said continuing:
“I’m sure that she would desperately want to attend [the memorial] … but if she can’t, she can’t. And she’ll be well represented by her eldest son, the Prince of Wales.”