Here's Why Prince Harry And Prince William Won't Walk Side By Side At Prince Philip's Funeral

As most royal watchers well know, it has been widely reported that following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from official royal duties, and their subsequent decision to move across the pond to Montecito, California with their son Archie — not to mention the scathing, much-talked-about, tell-all interview the couple gave to Oprah Winfrey — that there is a degree of tension between the two sons of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

For instance, in February, People reported that Prince William felt "really sad and genuinely shocked" after Harry and Meghan issued a statement following the Queen's announcement the couple would no longer be fulfilling their royal duties that "come along with a life of public service." Countered the couple: "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal." Burn.

During the Oprah interview, Harry would go on to note about his relationship with William, "The relationship is space, at the moment" (via Town & Country).

Prince William and Prince Harry have spoken recently

The brothers have resumed speaking since the widely-watched interview, as noted by Town & Country, although their conversations were reportedly "not productive." And then, with regards to the overall status of the princes' relationship at this time leading up to Prince Philip's funeral, consider that it was newsworthy that Prince William spoke to his younger brother upon Harry's arrival in the United Kingdom (via ABC News). This exchange only took place over the phone meanwhile, with Harry staying at Frogmore Cottage per COVID-19 quarantine requirements.

Of course, it is worth noting that Meghan is not attending the funeral given that she is very pregnant, and thus, Harry is somewhat alone as he faces his family. Meanwhile, Kate Middleton will be among the 30 people who are on the funeral guest list, which was limited due to COVID-19 restrictions (via Today).

Now, People is reporting the at-odds princes will not be walking side by side when they pay their final respects to the Duke of Edinburgh Saturday. According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, Harry and William will indeed both be included in the processional — but in a metaphor perhaps mimicking their relationship, another family member is set to walk between the once very close princes.

This is who Prince William and Prince Harry will walk with during the funeral processional

According to the funeral details released by the royal family, Peter Phillips, Princess Anne's son —of course she is Prince Philip's only daughter — will walk in between Prince William and Prince Harry as they proceed behind the coffin. Later, as the family walks to the chapel, William and Peter will walk together, while Harry will walk with David Armstrong-Jones, who is Queen Elizabeth's sister Margaret's son (via People).

But lest anyone perceive that this arrangement is due to any ill will between the brothers, a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said this was "a practical change rather than sending a signal." The statement also sternly noted, "This is a funeral and we are not going to be drawn into perceptions of drama. The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty's wishes."

It is worth noting the brothers will not see one another before the funeral, according to ABC News. That is likely just due to COVID-19 restrictions following Harry's international flight — but of course many will see this as yet another sign that the princes are not on the best of terms, even during this difficult time for the royal family.

Many remember Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind Princess Diana's coffin

The eyes of the world will undoubtedly be watching when Prince William and Prince Harry appear together in public for the very first time since the divisive Oprah interview aired (via NBC News). Yes, the focus should be on mourning Prince Philip, but every little move and facial expression will likely be dissected as people look for signals as to how the brothers feel about one another in the wake of their grandfather's death.

It is also likely those who remember the young princes walking behind their mother's coffin at her 1997 funeral will be reminded of that heartbreaking day (via AP News). Notably, Prince Philip and Prince Charles joined William and Harry, with Diana's brother Charles Spencer walking between the young princes (via Cheat Sheet). 

Indeed, so much has changed since Princess Diana died, when William was 15 years old, and Harry was just 12, according to Popsugar. Here's hoping the brothers come back together as they pay their respects to the family patriarch, despite the fact that they will not stand side by side — at least not in an official capacity.