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Harry and William’s ‘extremely significant’ funeral moment sparks reunion hope
April 17, 2021
An "extremely significant" moment between Prince Harry and Prince William at their grandfather's funeral has sparked hopes of reconciliation from a royal expert.
Saturday's ceremony at Windsor Castle marked the first time the brothers had seen each other in person since Harry stepped down as a working royal last March.
While they didn't walk side-by-side behind Prince Philip's coffin, prompting rumours that tensions were still frosty, Harry was spotted walking up to William and wife Kate Middleton after the ceremony was over.
At one point Kate stepped away to give them time alone together, which royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams has zeroed in on as a meaningful sign of a rekindled relationship.
"Prince Philip's funeral was a deeply moving ceremony and in a way, coronavirus gave it a simplicity that made it so very intimate for the Royal Family," he told the Daily Star.
"Prince Harry and William speaking at the end there was extremely significant and something people wanted to see.
"The gesture mattered as it was done publicly, as had Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview had been."
But rather than an impromptu chat, Mr Fitzwilliams says the moment may have been planned for the cameras to send a message of family unity.
"It wouldn't surprise me if it had been somewhat pre-arranged, or at least encouraged by Kate, but nonetheless a very pivotal signal to send at the end of a service to honour a man whose life has been dedicated to his family," he explained.
"The monarchy was truly shaken by the Oprah interview and for a sign like that to occur at the end of a service to honour a man whose life has been dedicated to his family, it truly holds out a certain amount of hope."
Prince Philip's gloves, whip and cap taken into Windsor Castle in moving pictures
Harry and William's relationship was reportedly badly shaken by the younger brother's departure from The Firm, and further damaged by his tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.
But their post-funeral conversation could be a sign that things are looking up ahead of the unveiling of a statue of their late mother Princess Diana, which they'll both attend in a few months' time.
"Everyone is aware that the relationship between the brothers, who were once extremely close, had diverged and now we look to July to see what will happen when the pair meet for Diana's statue," Mr Fitzwilliams said.
"There will be no sudden reconciliation but what I do hope, and what I think we saw with the brothers gives on grounds to hope, is that there is a want to repair their relationship.
"Every single aspect of this is being watched by the world, that's what happens when you have such a well-publicised monarchy, good or bad, it is watched.
"Just as we saw in the 1990s with the Prince and Princess of Wales, we're seeing it now, the downside, a downside that means there's trouble on a large scale."