Prince Harry will be traveling to the United Kingdom to attend the funeral of Prince Philip, TODAY can confirm. Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort in British history, died on April 9 at the age of 99.
The Duke of Sussex is expected to follow all COVID-19 protocols in place for travel to and from the U.K. His wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex had made every effort to travel with the duke but did not receive clearance to do so from her physician. The former Meghan Markle is currently pregnant with the couple's second child and the baby is due this summer.
Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles, is known to have been close to his grandfather. They had a shared history of military service — Philip in the British navy and Harry in the British army — and after Harry and his family moved to California last year, would keep in touch with via video calls.
The Duke of Edinburgh famously walked with his grandsons Harry and Harry's older brother, Prince William, after the passing of their mother, Princess Diana, nearly 24 years ago. Philip reportedly told Harry and William that he would "walk if you walk" and kept his word on the day of Diana's funeral service. He joined Harry, William and their father Charles, for Diana's funeral procession in London on September 6, 1997. The family walked from Kensington Palace, where Diana had once lived, to Westminster Abbey, where the funeral service was held.
Philip also had the opportunity to meet Harry's firstborn, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, his eight great-grandchild nearly two years ago. Harry and Meghan gathered at Windsor Castle back in May 2019 to introduce their son Archie to the Duke of Edinburgh and the queen.
On Friday, Buckingham Palace announced Philip's passing in a short statement. "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the statement began.
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. ... The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
The message across the front page read, “In loving memory of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021. Thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.”
According to a press release from Buckingham Palace on Saturday, Philip's funeral service is scheduled for April 17 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle and will be preceded by a ceremonial procession on the castle grounds. His coffin is currently resting in the Private Chapel, also at Windsor Castle and will remain there until the funeral.
The queen and members of the British royal family are expected to attend Philip's funeral service. The royal family also entered into a two-week royal mourning period yesterday, per the queen's wish.