Although Meghan Markle couldn’t be in England to attend the funeral of Prince Philip, she paid respects to her grandfather-in-law in her own, touching way. Markle was unable to join her husband, Prince Harry, for today’s socially distanced commemoration, after doctors warned the Duchess—who is almost seven months pregnant—that it was unsafe to fly.
Instead, Markle reportedly watched the funeral procession from her and Prince Harry’s home in Montecito, Los Angeles, which they share with their two-year-old son Archie. According to a report in Harper’s BAZAAR, Markle also commissioned a custom wreath to be laid during the ceremony. Created by Willow Crossley, who the Sussexes have “turned to time and time again for special occasions”, including their 2018 wedding, the wreath is full of thoughtful, sentimental meaning.
The arrangement included Bear’s Breeches, the national flower of Greece (where Prince Philip was born), Sea Holly, to represent the duke’s lifelong commitment to the Royal Marines, and roses to signify the month of the late Prince’s birth, June. Meghan, famous for her calligraphy skills, also hand-wrote a commemorative note to be laid with the wreath, according to the same report.
With Meghan absent from proceedings, Prince Harry was left to fend a likely frosty reception from his family solo. The Sussexes’ relationship with the rest of the royals has been fractured for some time, a fact revealed during their bombshell Oprah interview last month. Among the revelations made by Meghan and Harry were accusations that ‘The Firm’ had failed to protect Meghan from a racially-fuelled onslaught of salacious news coverage, and that the palace had failed to provide mental health care for Meghan when the press coverage lead her to suicidal ideation.
Most concerning was the accusations that a senior member of the royal family had expressed concern over “how dark” their son Archie’s skin tone would be upon his birth, as well as the suggestion that Archie had been snubbed his rightful title of ‘Prince’ because of his race. Prince Philip’s funeral marks the first time Prince Harry has been physically reunited with his brother, Prince William, sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, and father, Prince Charles since the interview aired, sending ripples through the globe about the cultural relevancy of the royal family in 21st century Britain.