Royal Historian Shares His Thoughts On Harry And William's 'Natural' Reunion

A notable moment to emerge from the ceremonial funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday, April 17, was the reunion of brothers Prince William and Prince Harry, the latter of whom had returned to the UK for the first time since stepping back from royal duties last year (via the BBC). As the world looked on, the siblings walked in the procession behind their grandfather's coffin but were separated by their cousin, Peter Phillips

Despite what appeared to be a somewhat frosty interaction, William and Harry were later seen casually chatting together following the funeral at Windsor Castle. Sharing his thoughts on the royal funeral placements, historian Robert Lacey, who penned the bestselling biography "Battle of Brothers," said he believes "the procession choreography, in retrospect, was a mistake." Speaking to People, Lacey continued, "As we saw, they could have walked side-by-side quite happily after all. What pleased me afterward was that it all seemed so totally natural, and they drifted to each other like the old days."

Prince Harry will miss the Queen's 95th birthday

Although many had speculated the separation of Prince Harry and Prince William was related to their reported falling out, a Buckingham Palace spokesman later confirmed the decision was in fact "a practical change rather than sending a signal." According to Cosmopolitan, the palace spokesperson added, "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."

Elsewhere, it was recently reported that Prince Harry had returned to his home in Montecito, California, just a few days after his grandfather's funeral. Per Daily Mail, royal spectators had hoped the Duke of Sussex would remain in the UK to celebrate his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's 95th birthday on Wednesday, April 21. However, Prince Harry reportedly flew to Los Angeles from London on Tuesday, April 20, to be reunited with his pregnant wife, Meghan Markle, and young son, Archie. 

In a recent birthday message, Her Majesty thanked the British public for their support in the days following her husband Prince Philip's death, saying the many tributes had been a comfort in a "period of deep sadness" (via the BBC). 

"My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days." Her Majesty continued, "We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life."