William and Harry seated separately at funeral but walk side by side by side in last procession
Prince William and Prince Harry, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, were seated separately in Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral – with Prince Harry kept off the front row as he was sent to sit with his cousins.
The brothers walked shoulder-to-shoulder as the coffin arrived at Westminster Abbey, and again as it was pulled by gun carriage to Wellington Arch, to begin its final journey to Windsor.
But they were seated far apart during the service itself, under the long-planned and extensively-revised seating protocol for the hundreds of guests.
For Prince William, now heir to the throne, a place was reserved on the front row, down slightly from the King, the Queen Consort, as well as the Queen’s other children and their spouses.
He was joined for the service by his two eldest children, second-in-line Prince George and third-in-line Princess Charlotte, as well as his wife Catherine, the Princess of Wales.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry was relegated to sit with less prominent royals in the second row, seated directly behind his father, King Charles III.
He was accompanied by his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. The couple opted not to bring their two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, of whom they are known to be fiercely protective. Their children were thought to be staying in Los Angeles with Doria Ragland, the Duchess of Sussex’s mother.
The Sussexes sat alongside the Duke of York’s daughter, Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, as well as Prince Edward’s children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The Duke of York’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, are thought to be the royals closest to Prince Harry since his departure as a working royal, with Princess Eugenie and her husband briefly resident in Frogmore Cottage, the property that Harry departed when he moved to the US.
A rift between Prince Harry and his brother and father has been widely reported – with Harry telling Oprah Winfrey last year he feels his relatives are “trapped” in royal life – in addition to allegations of racism by an unnamed royal towards the Duchess of Sussex.
Events in the wake of the Queen’s death have marked a rapprochement in relations between the brothers, who made a number of public appearances together, while the two families are reported to have attended a private family dinner behind closed doors.
Prince William wore his military uniform on Monday, while Prince Harry dressed in a morning suit, having been stripped of his honorary military titles in 2020 after he stepped down as a working royal.
They first appeared together, alongside their wives Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, in front of crowds that had gathered outside Windsor Castle two days after Her Majesty’s death was announced.
The appearance was the first time they had been seen alongside one another since their grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April last year.
On Saturday evening, Princes William and Harry stood vigil around the Queen’s coffin with her other grandchildren.
Prince Harry was given special permission by the King to wear his military uniform exclusively for the vigil – which did not extend to today’s funeral – although his grandmother’s “ER” initials were removed from the shoulder of his jacket.
Prince Andrew, who is also no longer a working royal, retained the initials on his uniform when he held a vigil around the coffin on Friday night alongside the Queen’s other children.
The Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex also walked side-by-side in procession as the Queen was brought from Buckingham Palace to the lying-in-state at Westminster Hall on Wednesday last week.
Prince William told crowds outside the Sandringham Estate on the following day that walking behind the Queen’s coffin brought back painful memories of the funeral of his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
On Monday, the Queen’s coffin will take on a similar route to the one Diana’s was on as part of her funeral in 1997.
Princes William and Harry – then aged 15 and 12 – both walked behind their mother’s coffin.
The brothers have been estranged since Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, took the decision to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family and move to the United States in 2020.
Both attended the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in June this year, although they were not pictured together and were sat at opposite ends of St Paul’s Cathedral during the service of thanksgiving.