Prince Harry has largely stayed away from his home country of England after he and his wife Meghan Markle relocated to California, but he has returned for important events, like a ceremony honoring his mother Diana, and his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral. However, he will not be making the journey for the late Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving memorial.
Why Harry Won’t Be Attending The Memorial
The March 29 service will take place at Westminster Abbey, memorializing Prince Philip, who passed away in April of last year. The Duke of Sussex’s spokesperson confirmed that Harry will not be attending the service.
According to the Daily Star, Harry’s announcement about not attending the memorial was particularly shocking to Queen Elizabeth. Apparently, she was not made aware of Harry’s decision until just 15 minutes prior to the statement being made public.
While the reason for the decision is ultimately unknown, it’s likely due to Harry’s concerns about security issues. He is currently battling it out in the courts with the British government over whether or not he and his family will have protection while in the UK.
Harry’s Lawyer: England Is ‘His Home’
The British government argues that Harry and Markle are not entitled to government-funded security because they are no longer working royals. However, Harry argues that the threat level against his family is still high.
The prince maintains that he wants to pay for his own security, but his private U.S. security team doesn’t have the resources or jurisdiction abroad to operate in the United Kingdom. Harry’s lawyer, Shaheed Fatima, said that he feels unsafe while traveling in England.
“It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart,” Fatima continued. “Most of all, this is and always will be, his home.”
Robert Palmer, the British government’s lawyer, calls Harry’s claims “unarguable and unmeritorious.” He also said that Harry’s offer to pay for private security is irrelevant: “Personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis.”
People Angered By Announcement That Harry Will Travel To Holland
While Harry apparently feels unsafe traveling in the UK, he has no problem going to other European countries. Just hours after he announced that he would not be attending his grandfather’s memorial service, he revealed that he will be attending the Invictus Games in Holland.
“He can go to the Netherlands but not to see his own grandmother, something is not right with him,” one person commented on a video posted to social media announcing his trip to Holland. Another sniffed, “Harry is refusing to attend his grandfather’s memorial/suing the UK Gov. for armed security but will go to the IG in the NL.”
It’s unclear why Harry feels safer traveling in Holland than the United Kingdom, but Harry’s spokesperson assured the public that he will be returning to visit the queen “as soon as possible.” However, blowing off his grandfather’s memorial service has done some major damage to the public’s opinion of the prince.