During his whirlwind visit to the UK, Prince Harry on Friday made a secret visit to the Windsor church where Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest a year ago.
But estranged from most members of the royal family, Harry is believed to have paid his respects alone on the first anniversary of the queen’s Sept. 8, 2022 death, while his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Princess Catherine, greeted crowds and attended a service in Wales, 230 miles away, the Daily Mail reported. At around the same time, Harry’s father, King Charles, said private prayers at a parish church in Balmoral with his wife, Queen Camilla.
A tourist snapped a photo of Harry leaving St. George’s Chapel at lunchtime Friday, the Daily Mail reported. Harry is in the UK on his own, as his wife, Meghan Markle, and children, Archie and Lilibet, remained at their home in Montecito, California. Harry attended an awards ceremony in London the night before, which was the purpose of his visit to the UK. He was due to fly to Germany to preside over the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games on Saturday.
At the WellChild Awards Thursday night, Harry, a patron for the nonprofit, spoke about how his grandmother “is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together continuing to spotlight such an incredible community,” the Daily Mail reported.
Harry, “at his personable best,” also reminded the audience that he couldn’t make last year’s ceremony as intended because he got the news that his 96-year-old grandmother was on her deathbed in Balmoral, the Daily Mail reported. “As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away,” Harry said at the event, which was to honor the resilience of seriously ill children and their families who are supported by WellChild.
Last year, Harry had to scramble to find a plane to fly him up to Scotland to see his grandmother, while other senior royal family members had already arranged to travel together. As Harry recounted in his memoir “Spare,” he received a phone call from Charles, telling him that Meghan wasn’t welcome to accompany him to Balmoral. He also said he learned during the flight that his grandmother had died.
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At St. George’s Chapel Friday, where Prince Philip also is buried, Harry was seen leaving the church and approaching an executive Range Rover, the Daily Mail said. A bodyguard opened the door for him.
The Daily Mail said that other members of the royal family were expected to visit St. George’s Chapel Friday. Harry reportedly remains close to his cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, but it’s not known if they were with him when he paid his respects at the chapel.
During Harry’s whirlwind trip to the UK, he wasn’t expected to see his father or his brother for “peace talks.” Charles and William reportedly wouldn’t make time to see him in what could be an effort to heal the rift between them.
The king and his heir are reportedly wary of being alone with Harry, after he shared details of their last contentious private meeting, in the Windsor graveyard, immediately following Philip’s funeral in April 2021, in the opening chapter of “Spare.”