The Real Reason Prince William And Prince Harry Won't Walk Next To Each Other During Prince Philip's Funeral

Following the death of Prince Philip on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99, plans were laid out regarding the senior royal's funeral. The Duke of Edinburgh's family will gather on April 17, 2021, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in order to pay their final respects. However, that's not all that we know about what is set to take place during the somber occasion.

Certain aspects of Philip's funeral have also been decided on, including the fact that Queen Elizabeth II will be sitting by herself during the service that will honor her late husband and no one in the family will be wearing military uniforms. On top of that, there will also be a funeral procession which the BBC reported will be "[l]ed by the band of the Grenadier Guards" who will be "followed by the Major General's party and military chiefs of staff." Next will come the Land Rover that will carry Philip's coffin, and finally, the royal family. Once they arrive at St. George's, the family members "will enter the chapel" while "the rest of the procession will remain outside."

Although that seems relatively straightforward, there also happens to be a set arrangement that the family members will have to follow when it comes to walking together. Because of that, it turns out that Prince William and Prince Harry won't be next to each other during certain times during their grandfather's funeral. Read on to find out why.

Someone will be walking between Prince William and Prince Harry

On April 15, 2021, two days prior to Prince Philip's funeral, Buckingham Palace announced the order that those who will be attending the sad event will make their way to and into St. George's Chapel, according to People. While various members of the royal family will be there and you might expect that Prince William and Prince Harry would be walking together, that's not the case at all. Apparently, the brothers "will both join family members in walking behind their grandfather's coffin," however, it turns out that "their cousin, Peter Phillips (the son of Princess Anne), is set to walk between them."

When they get in place for a second procession, which is when they will enter St. George's Chapel, William will be accompanied by Peter, while Harry will be joined by David Armstrong-Jones, who is the son of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones.

If you're wondering why William and Harry won't be side-by-side, it seems like that might have originally been the intention. However, a spokesperson from the palace explained that the final order was "a practical change" as opposed to an effort to "[send] a signal." The spokesperson added, "This is a funeral and we are not going to be drawn into perceptions of drama. The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty's wishes."

Will William and Harry 'put on a good show'?

Of course, the walking arrangement has some wondering whether the funeral will be awkward as a result. "For the period that Harry is [in England], they will very much put their differences behind them," royal biographer Ingrid Seward theorized to Us Weekly. "I think that Harry will want to get back to [wife] Meghan [Markle] as soon as the funeral is over ... so he won't have a great deal of time to be in a potentially embarrassing situation with his family." Seward continued, "It's not about Harry this day. Harry knows that it's about his grandfather. ... They're all going to put on a very good show."

Plus, the family has enough to worry about as it is — like making the event safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 30 people will attend, and each person will be required to wear a mask in the procession and inside St. George's chapel. However, as a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement, per People, "We are dealing with a family funeral and at its heart it is still a family event."

It truly sounds like the family is trying to avoid any hint of drama, and while some people have certainly noticed, others remain convinced that something's up.

Fans react to the news about William and Harry

When Buckingham Palace announced that Prince William and Prince Harry would not be walking beside each other during Prince Philip's funeral procession, many people assumed the decision was about possible tension between the siblings despite what a royal spokesperson may have claimed.

"It's sad that as close as they once were they can't get past their differences to honor their grandfather," one Twitter user wrote. Another person on social media felt similarly, tweeting, "Sad. You normally put petty bs away when you lose someone. God forbid something happens to one of them, regret is terrible. William had Harry's support fully on his life choices, the same would have been better toward his brother." However, not everyone was willing to be swept up in the potential drama. Someone else claimed in a tweet that the brothers had never walked beside each other when it came to past royal funerals, which to them meant that "[t]his is a non-story."

Let's just hope that William and Harry have indeed put their differences aside so that they can honor their grandfather properly.