The Queen’s grandsons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, have returned from Balmoral to Windsor to be with their families, where they are expected to remain until the Queen’s state funeral.
Prince Harry left Balmoral castle on Friday morning after the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince William left after 1pm.
Harry was seen leaving at about 8.15am on Friday, and is understood to have returned to London and traveled on to his British residence, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
He was not able to reach Balmoral until around 8.30pm on Thursday evening, two hours after the death of his grandmother was announced, after traveling separately from his brother and other relatives.
Both Harry and his wife, Meghan, are expected to stay in the UK to attend the Queen’s state funeral, which is likely to be held on 19 September.
Harry had been nearing the end of a tour of Europe with Meghan and canceled an appearance in London on Thursday at the WellChild Awards, which honors the brave deeds of seriously ill children, to join his family in Aberdeenshire.
He was seen leaving Balmoral, passing flowers that had been laid in tribute to the late monarch, and later that morning boarding a British Airways flight at Aberdeen International airport, which departed at 10.20am.
It is thought that William was also unable to see his grandmother before she died, although Buckingham Palace has not confirmed the time of death.
Harry and Meghan’s involvement in the funeral has provoked much speculation among commentators that it may be the first time they are reunited with the royal family after several tumultuous years. Some reports have focused on the fact that Harry was the last royal to arrive at Balmoral, and the first to leave.
King Charles appeared to reach out to the couple in his address on Friday evening, saying: “I want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
Neither Meghan nor Prince William’s wife, Kate, joined the other members of the royal family in Balmoral, although both are expected to attend the funeral.
On social media, there have been suggestions that the greater criticism of Meghan’s absence than Kate’s, who stayed in Windsor to care for her and William’s children, may be racist.
Harry and Meghan’s Archwell website was turned black shortly after the announcement of the Queen’s death, and carries a tribute to her, stating: “In loving memory of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-2022.”
It is not known when the couple will return to their home in California, where their children remain.
The death of the Queen means that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is now a prince as he is the grandson, rather than the great-grandson, of a monarch. His younger sister, Lilibet “Lili” Mountbatten-Windsor, is also entitled to be a princess.
Meghan had previously suggested that the title was denied to Archie because of his race.
After the accession council takes place at 10am on Saturday – it is traditionally held within 24 hours of a monarch’s death but was delayed due to the fact the Queen’s death was announced late in the day on Thursday – William and Kate will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, taking on King Charles’s “Cornwall” title.
In his address, the King also said that they would become the Prince and and Princess of Wales, saying: “I am proud to create [William] Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”
William will also inherit the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate of 60,700 hectares (150,000 acres) spread across 20 counties, with a reported annual income of around £20m.
A statement from the Duchy of Cornwall confirmed the transfer of the estate from Charles to William: “The passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the succession of HM King Charles III marks the transition of the title of the Duke of Cornwall to HRH The Duke of Cambridge. As such the estate is in safe hands. It is right at this time, to recognize the huge changes made by our 24th Duke of Cornwall over 70 years. His Majesty passes the estate on much improved.”