What Prince Harry and Prince William's Interaction at Queen Elizabeth's Funeral Says About Their Relationship

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Prince Harry and Prince William reunited at Monday's funeral for their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, limiting their interactions with each other as they mourned the late monarch at St. George's Chapel.

Though the brothers are said to be estranged following Harry and Meghan Markle's decision in 2020 to step down as senior members of the royal family, the pair was seen marking a show of unity during key moments at the funeral -- from William inviting Harry and Meghan to sit with them at the committal service to the brothers walking alongside each other during the funeral procession.

"What I didn't see was them together other than in the procession, and if you looked at the seating plan, it almost seemed like every effort was being made so that there wasn't an awkward moment where they had to sit side by side," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET's Kevin Frazier at Methodist Central Hall Westminster in England of William and Harry's interactions. "At one point, Charlotte was put in between them or they were with their royal cousins and it just feels that it's going to be a while, I think, before we're sitting here discussing a real long-term reconciliation."

"The only meeting they had... was when they were driving down the long drive [in] Windsor, crossed paths and reversed so that they could see each other and Harry could see his niece and nephews," Nicholl noted. "That's the extent of the reunion and that was by chance. I think that says a lot and I think we'll probably see the Sussexes on their way back to America very soon."

Nicholl added that Harry and Meghan's two young children, 3-year-old Archie and 15-month-old Lilibet, have remained in the U.S. during this time. "I think that reunion that we'd all hoped for is some way off," she theorized of Harry and William's potential reconciliation. 

Nicholl added that by having Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, participate in the funeral procession was a clear statement made by the royal family.

"It was only announced really at the 11th hour that we would have Prince George and Princess Charlotte... very, very young to be going to a funeral and particularly a state funeral with the eyes of the world on them for parents William and Kate [Middleton], who have been very keen to keep them out of the public gaze. I think it was a clear message underlining all of this -- this is the future of the dynasty," she said of William and Kate's children, who are second and third in line to the throne. 

"This is a projection of what's to come," Nicholl added. "George is now second in line to the throne and the significance of having Charlotte was -- and this is the spare we've always had, an heir and a spare. It dates back centuries ago when royals would die in childbirth. You needed that security, but actually you look back and you see the queen was supported by Princess Margaret, her sister; Charles was supported by the Princess Royal Princess Anne; William was supported up until recently by Harry so that notion of the heir and the spare is something that we're now seeing continued in Charlotte and George and it's rather lovely."

ET also spoke with royal biographer Andrew Morton on Monday, who discussed Harry and William's public rift and how he feels their mother, the late Princess Diana, would have reacted. 

"Well, the one thing that she would be really furious about is that they had this split," Morton said, explaining that he had previously discussed the boys' relationship with Diana herself. "She always said to me, not just once, but on several occasions, that Harry is William's backup in the nicest possible way, he's his wingman, he's the one who helps William in this difficult job that he will have in the future because it's a lonely job. And she always felt that Harry should be there as his backup, and I think everybody wants them to come back together again because together they are so much stronger." 

For more on Her Majesty's death and Queen Elizabeth II's funeralcheck out ET's ongoing coverage


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