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Prince Harry will not return to UK later this month for Prince Philip memorial service

A spokesperson said the prince hopes to visit his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, as soon as possible.

Prince Harry will not be returning to the U.K this month to attend a memorial service honoring his late grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex confirmed Friday to NBC News.

The service is scheduled to take place March 29 at Westminster Abbey, and will pay tribute to Prince Philip, who died on April 9, 2021, at age 99.

Harry attended the late royal's official funeral last April. However, unlike past royal funerals, the event was limited to only 30 guests because of safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The spokesperson added that Harry, 37, hopes to return to his native England as soon as possible to visit his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Royals & Celebrities Attend The Rugby World Cup
Prince Harry speaks with his grandfather, Prince Philip, at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final.Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

Harry's decision to not attend his grandfather's memorial service comes months after he expressed concerns about the lack of protection for his family during visits to the U.K.

It was revealed in January that the prince was challenging the British government’s decision to not allow the prince to pay for his family's police protection when he and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 40, visit the U.K. with their children.

The prince sought to pay for police protection himself rather than make British taxpayers pay for the service, a legal rep for the prince told NBC News in a statement at the time.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the U.K.,” the statement said.

“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home,” the statement added.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated from England to California with their son, Archie, now 2, after their final engagement as senior members of the British royal family in 2020.

The couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet, in June 2021.

Harry last returned to England by himself in July 2021 to join his brother, Prince William, 39, in unveiling a statue of their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace on what would have been Diana's 60th birthday.