Prince Philip funeral: Royal aides spill on William, Harry 'minefield'

There are concerns the family drama could overshadow Philip's departure.
There are concerns the family drama could overshadow Philip's departure. Photo credit: Getty.

As royal aides frantically work to put the finishing touches on Prince Philip's funeral service, they say dealing with feuding brothers Prince William and Prince Harry has been like navigating a "minefield". 

It's less than 12 hours until Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is laid to rest at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among those in attendance will be the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.

While the Duke always insisted on having a relatively low-key funeral - something he will get due to COVID-19 restrictions - the event is still a major affair, with millions expected to tune in to celebrate the life of someone who gave decades of service to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

It could, however, be overshadowed by the reunion of Prince William and Prince Harry, being the first time the pair have seen each other in more than a year and coming after Harry and wife Meghan Markle's bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview. 

The brothers' relationship had splintered before Harry and Meghan left their royal duties for the United States early last year, but the departure and comments by the royal renegades is said to have strained it further.

According to The Daily Mail, royal aides say "everyone is walking on eggshells". The newspaper says Harry and William have made it clear they want the focus on mourning Prince Philip and nothing should distract from that.

"But it has made everyone doubly nervous about saying anything that could be remotely construed of being critical of the other side. It’s been a minefield."

According to The Mirror, "wounds are still very raw" despite the family being united by grief.

"But there is a realisation that everyone does need to reach some form of resolution, if only for the Queen, who has said it is her wish that the family comes together," a source told the paper.

They won't be walking next to each other in the procession to St George's Chapel, something Buckingham Palace says shouldn't be taken as a sign about their relationship. 

It's instead said the procession arrangement has been designed in line with "bloodlines and age", with Prince Philip's children at the front, Prince William on the right standing behind the two oldest sons, and Prince Harry on the left. In between William and Harry will be Peter Phillips, Princess Anne's son and the eldest grandchild of the Queen and Prince Philip. 

Efforts have already been made to calm tensions and not slight Prince Harry. Mourners will wear suits and not military uniforms, meaning Prince Harry - stripped of his military titles as part of Megxit - won't be the odd one out.

Three will air coverage of Prince Philip's funeral from 11:30pm on Saturday. Find out more here.

Prince Philip funeral: Royal aides spill on William, Harry 'minefield'