The Duke of Sussex is said to have been spotted at London’s Heathrow Airport disembarking from a British Airways flight from Los Angeles at 1:15 p.m., the Sun newspaper reported citing an eyewitness.
Official sources have declined to comment on Harry’s travel movements, but a Buckingham Palace spokesman said over the weekend that the prince “is planning to attend” his grandfather’s funeral in Windsor on Saturday.
The trip is the first time that Harry has returned to the UK since he and his wife Meghan stepped back as senior royals last March.
How Harry can attend the funeral
It is likely Harry will want to follow existing coronavirus travel regulations for international travelers to the UK and ensure a period of quarantine before attending the funeral.
Under those rules, travelers must complete a passenger locator form and provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before leaving for the UK.
Once in England, visitors must either quarantine at home for 10 days or at a managed quarantine hotel. During the mandatory quarantine, two additional Covid-19 tests are required on days two and eight.
Harry could use the UK government’s “test to release” system to end his quarantine early. It allows a person to take a private Covid-19 test on the fifth day after arrival to release them from self-isolation if their test result comes back negative. They must quarantine while they await their test result.
There is also guidance for mourners entering the country which allows them to leave self-isolation in “limited circumstances” on compassionate grounds which includes “attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend.” The individual must self-isolate at all other times.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will not be joining her husband for the funeral. She is expecting the couple’s second baby this summer and “has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK” from California where they live, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said Saturday.
The Queen has approved a ceremony adapted from the plan the Duke of Edinburgh consented to years ago to respect pandemic restrictions.
Prince Philip will be laid to rest in a private funeral at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, in what is known as a “ceremonial royal funeral,” and will not lie in state, according to the arrangements laid out by the Palace to the press.
Under royal protocol state funerals are usually reserved for monarchs so the duke’s funeral will be similar to that of the Queen Mother in 2002, the spokesman explained.
The revised arrangements have been made in “close consultation” with government and public health officials to meet social distancing guidelines which limit funerals to 30 people.