Meghan Markle decided to stay back in California, while Prince Harry flew to London because she "doesn't want to be the center of attention" at Prince Philip's funeral, her friends have claimed. However, despite her decision to stay back and not travel to the UK, an insider with close ties to Meghan reportedly told MailOnline that she shared a "special bond" and "adored" the Duke of Edinburgh.
Harry reached the UK on Sunday and is currently isolating at Frogmore Cottage. Meghan on the other hand was advised by her doctor "not to travel" as that would be too risky given that she is heavily pregnant with her second child.
According to a report in Daily Mail, some of her friends said that Meghan didn't want to become the news at such a sad time, as furor continues over her and Harry's explosive sit-down with Oprah Winfrey last month that raked the British royal family over the coals. However, the other reason for her not travelling to the UK to attend Philip's funeral is because she is pregnant and has been advised rest by her doctor. This was also confirmed earlier by a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
"Meghan said her main concern right now is supporting Harry. She said she left it up to him as to whether or not she would attend the funeral," an insider with close ties to Meghan Markle told the Daily Mail.
That said, Meghan feels that the explosive interview has further increased media focus on her and the moment she lands in the UK all the attention will be on her. So, it was a wise decision on her part to stay back in the United States.
Meghan also sees the funeral as a chance for her husband to try to privately heal his rift with brother Prince William and father Prince Charles without her in the picture, her friends reportedly said. "Meghan said it's during these times when family should come together, put their differences aside and unite as one. She said this is what Prince Philip would want and that she's willing to forgive and move forward," one of her friends said.
Farewell from Faraway
While it is still possible that Dutchess of Sussex flies off the UK before Saturday to join Harry for Philip's funeral, it is unlikely given that her mother, Doria Ragland, was insistent that her daughter not fly to England to attend because of health concerns. However, the decision to attend or not attend Philip's funeral now rests on Harry.
"Doria insisted that Meghan stay behind and support Harry from afar. Like Harry, Doria is very protective of Meghan and doesn't want to see her putting her own health at risk. Stress is the last thing Meghan needs right now," the friend told.
That said, Meghan also told her friends that attending Philip's funeral would in no way change her relationship and equation with the Queen. "Meghan said attending or not attending Prince Philip's funeral isn't going to change her relationship with the Queen. She said the Queen understands her absence and would want her to stay safe and healthy for the baby," the friend said.
Harry's grandfather Philip died on Friday at the age of 99, and the prince flew to London without Markle on Sunday to attend his funeral. Harry and Meghan live in California after tossing aside their royal duties last year in a sensational move dubbed Megxit.