Harry and Meghan looked 'petulant and rude' by not attending Prince Philip's memorial

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·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
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Watch: Royals gather to honour Prince Philip at memorial

Harry and Meghan would likely have known their decision not to attend the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service on Tuesday 29th March would look "petulant and rude", a royal expert has claimed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's absence from the service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey has had many wondering why the pair weren't there.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward, author of Prince Philip, also questioned the couple's silence on the special day.

Read more: Princess Charlotte's behaviour praised at Prince Philip's memorial service

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan visit One World Observatory on 102nd floor of Freedom Tower of World Trade Center. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan weren't able to attend Price Philip's memorial at Westminster Abbey. (LightRocket via Getty Images)

"The wall of silence was as loud as if they had shouted from the abbey rafters. The normally verbose Duke and Duchess of Sussex said nothing," she told The Mirror in a no holds barred tirade.

"No spokesperson spewed out long sentences of undecipherable wordage. There were no flowers with the florists name proudly displayed.

"No comments from Archwell. Nothing. Not even a word from their supporters on various social media accounts."

After Prince Philip's death last year, which occurred on 9 April 2021 at Windsor Castle at the age of 99, Harry said in a statement, "My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour", describing him as "master of the barbecue, legend of banter and cheeky right ‘til the end".

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge takes inspiration from Diana's wardrobe for thanksgiving service

Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Anne Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, attend a service of thanksgiving for late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, March 29, 2022. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
Many senior royals gathered for the service of thanksgiving. (Pool via REUTERS)

On Harry and Meghan's decision not to attend the service, Seward said, "There's been a great deal of criticism about Prince Harry's absence from his grandfather's memorial service. But no reason given as to why he chose not to attend from Harry himself.

"A couple of weeks ago he instructed his spokesperson to say he wouldn’t be going. That was it."

The spokesperson confirmed Harry and Meghan wouldn't be attending, but added that Harry hopes to visit the Queen as soon as possible.

"What a missed opportunity it was not to bring Meghan and the children to join the extended royal family, European cousins and of course Archie’s contemporaries," added Seward.

"Their appearance would not have diverted attention away from the Queen. It was her day and no one could take that away from her not even her favourite son the Duke of York who guided her to her seat."

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge's polka dot dress: 5 affordable versions to channel the royal in

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Harry's spokesperson has expressed his safety fears around bringing his family to the UK. (WireImage/Getty Images)

Harry and Meghan, who married in March 2018, currently live in California with their children Archie, two and Lilibet, nine months.

The couple stepped down as senior working royals in 2020, with Harry recently pursuing a legal challenge after being told he would no longer be given the "same degree" of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay it himself.

Seward dismissed their reported concerns over safety and instead suggested "the only explanation is that neither one of them wanted to go."

"Harry must have known it would look petulant and rude. And if he did not Meghan would have."

Other royals in attendance at Prince Philip's memorial included the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their two eldest Prince George, eight, and Princess Charlotte, six.

Watch: Cambridge children attend memorial service for Prince Philip

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