The British press and citizens were surprised to see Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex, set aside their differences with the royal family by joining the Prince and Princess of Wales in greeting crowds outside the gates of Windsor castle paying tribute to their grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales visited the gates of Windsor Castle Saturday to view the thousands of floral tributes left by the public in honor of the late queen, ITV reported, explaining it was a surprise appearance due to the rift between the two couples since Prince Harry made the decision to break off from the royal family and move to California.
The Telegraph described it as “the first sign of a healing of the rift that has opened since the Sussexes left the working royal family in January 2020.”
Prince William, who became heir to the throne after the queen’s death, had invited his younger brother Harry and his wife Meghan to join him on a walkabout in Windsor to share their memories with the public, the newspaper said.
Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, died Thursday at her holiday home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. The state funeral of the queen, who was the head of the Church of England during her reign, has been scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey in London at 11 a.m. on Sept. 19.
As the news worsened about the queen's health, the two brothers were both making rushed journeys to Balmoral Castle, BBC’s royal correspondent Sean Coughlan said.
“Families can fall out when there’s a bereavement. Feelings are running high and are close to the surface. It’s easy for old arguments to be brought back by grief,” Coughlan commented. “But losing a loved one can also bring unity, putting things into perspective and setting disagreements aside. It can be a time to come together.”
In a statement after the queen’s death, Prince William said, “She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
He added, “I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.
“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honor her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.”
Earlier Saturday, Prince William’s father, Charles III, was officially declared the king at the Accession Council.
In his first address to the nation on Friday, King Charles expressed his love for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” The Times quoted King Charles as saying.