Prince Harry will not return to UK for Prince Philip's thanksgiving service

Prince Harry - Victoria Jones/Getty Images
Prince Harry - Victoria Jones/Getty Images

Prince Harry will not be returning to the UK later this month for the thanksgiving service for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, a spokesman confirmed on Friday.

The Duke of Sussex would not fly back to Britain for the March 29 service at Westminster Abbey, the spokesman said, adding that he still wished to visit the Queen, his grandmother, as soon as possible.

The spokesman declined to expand on the reason for his decision.

The Duke of Edinburgh died on April 9, 2021 at the age of 99.

Prince Harry, one of his eight grandchildren, did attend his lockdown funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor, and returned again to the UK during the summer of 2021 for the unveiling of a statue of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Prince Harry - Jeremy Selwyn/Getty Images
Prince Harry - Jeremy Selwyn/Getty Images

The Duke of Sussex is pursuing a legal challenge against the Home Office, seeking Met Police protection for his family when they travel to the UK.

His team previously said in a statement: "The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in. With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s final appearance in Britain before leaving their official working roles was at the Commonwealth Service, in March 2020.

The Sussexes’ daughter, Lilibet, has not yet met the Queen, whose pet name given to her by the Duke of Edinburgh was the inspiration for the name Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.