What Kate Middleton Will Reportedly Do At Prince Philip's Funeral

All eyes will be on the royal family on April 17, 2021 when they say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, following his death on April 9, 2021. The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral has been widely talked about in the wake of his passing, with his grandson Prince Harry in particular being shrouded in controversy. Many royal watchers questioned if Harry would even attend due to some serious tension with his family after his and wife Meghan Markle's shocking March 2021 sit down with Oprah Winfrey. It has since been confirmed that Harry will be there, and he was spotted at London's Heathrow Airport on April 11, 2021 (via Hello!). Meghan — who is pregnant with her and Harry's second child — did not join her husband after being advised by her doctor not to fly.

While the focus will, of course, be very much on the late Philip during his funeral, it's safe to say people all over the world will also be watching to see how Harry interacts with his family. One of the most interesting interactions will no doubt be between Harry and his brother, Prince William, as it's no secret the siblings haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye in the months preceding Philip's death. But what part in Harry and William's reunion will the latter's wife, Kate Middleton, play?

Kate Middleton has reportedly found Prince William and Prince Harry's tension 'difficult and upsetting'

When Prince Harry and Prince William attend Prince Philip's funeral, it's been reported that Kate Middleton will ensure the two keep things cordial. While there hopefully will not be any drama or cold shoulders at such a sad time, The Telegraph claimed that Kate plans to serve "as peacemaker" between the two, who had spent at least 13 months apart before Philip's death (via Entertainment Tonight). A source claims Kate wants to see the two be close again and will reportedly "be hoping to soothe the tensions" between them at the funeral, particularly because she has a close relationship with her own siblings, Pippa Middleton and James Middleton. The insider added that Kate saw the "special bond between William and Harry" first hand and has supposedly found "the whole situation difficult and upsetting."

Many outlets have examined the brothers' tension, with Cosmopolitan sharing a timeline of events that supposedly led to the once-close Harry and William drifting apart. One such drama between the two apparently happened when Meghan guest-edited an issue of Vogue U.K. in September 2019. Royal historian Robert Lacey claimed, in the book Battle of Brothers (via the Mirror), that some members of royal family supposedly did not like that the magazine was not impartial, and William and Harry purportedly had a "showdown" over it.

Kate Middleton and Prince Harry reportedly always had a good relationship

Prior to the supposed rift between Prince Harry and Prince William, Kate Middleton always appeared to be on good terms with Harry. That means he may be more willing to listen to her when they come face-to-face at Prince Philip's funeral. Newsweek reported in 2017 that the two were close long before Kate and William got married and even claimed Kate took on a big sister role in Harry's life as he continued to struggle with the death of his and William's mom, Princess Diana.

"There was no one filling the hole left by Diana's death, and Harry seemed to be growing up without someone emotionally available he could lean on. Kate has helped fill some of that gap," the outlet claimed. It was reported that Harry even apparently started calling Kate "the big sister he never had" when she and William got engaged in 2010, and he was said to be a regular visitor to his brother and sister-in-law's home where Kate would cook for him. The Sun also reported in January 2017 that Kate and her daughter Princess Charlotte were among the very first members of the royal family Harry introduced to Meghan Markle when they started dating.

Why things could be tense between Prince Harry and Prince William

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey reportedly did not help things between the brothers. Harry confirmed during the chat that he and Prince William had grown apart, saying, "the relationship is 'space' at the moment" (via the Associated Press). Other bombshells included allegations a member of the royal family had made racially insensitive remarks, while Harry also claimed he felt "trapped" and believes his brother and their father, Prince Charles, are still "trapped" (via The Sun).

Prince William reportedly found it very hard not to speak out about Harry and Meghan's allegations after Buckingham Palace issued a somewhat brief statement. Us Weekly claimed in March 2021 that William was reportedly "struggling to hold back" and wanted "to get his side out there... to protect Kate." William was supposedly particularly upset Kate's name was brought up after Meghan shot down claims she made Kate cry, instead saying the opposite happened. William was also said to have wanted to "clear the racial allegations." Notably, William spoke out in person, albeit briefly. During a public appearance with Kate in March 2021, he told a Sky News reporter, "We are very much not a racist family." William added, "I haven't spoken to [Harry] yet but I will do." 

Whatever happens, we are just hoping the family can put their differences aside so they can say a proper goodbye to Prince Philip.