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Harry and William share private chat at funeral in first public appearance together since racism claims

Prince William and Prince Harry have engaged in conversation publicly for the first time since the Oprah interview. Source: Pool PA

Queen Elizabeth II has been widowed just as she grapples with one of the gravest crises to hit the royal family in decades - allegations of racism and neglect by it from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip at a funeral on Saturday that celebrated his seven decades of service and gave grandsons William and Harry the chance to talk in public for the first time since claims of racism threw the family into crisis.

Prince Harry, who flew from the United States to attend the funeral, walked and talked with his brother William and wife Kate at the end of the service - the first time they have spoken in public since Harry and his wife Meghan gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey last month.

That crisis came as Philip lay in hospital. Officially known as the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip died aged 99 on 9 April.

"We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith," Dean of Windsor David Conner said.

Elizabeth has been widowed just as she grapples with one of the gravest crises to hit the royal family in decades - allegations of racism and neglect by it from Harry and Meghan, his American-born wife.

In last month's interview the couple, who quit royal duties and moved to California last year, laid bare their perceptions of the family's attitudes in what amounted to a critique of the old-fashioned customs of an ancient institution.

They accused one unnamed royal of making a racist comment, and said Meghan's pleas for help when she felt suicidal were ignored.

Meghan said she had been silenced by "the Firm" while Harry said his father, Charles, had refused to take his calls. Harry said both Charles and his brother William were trapped in the royal family.

Meghan, who is pregnant and was advised by her doctor not to travel, watched the funeral at home in California, a source familiar with the situation said.

As the service ended, buglers from the Royal Marines sounded the "Last Post" and then "Action Stations" to honour the late duke's World War Two naval service, before choir sang the national anthem.

Elizabeth left for the castle's apartments in her car but other royals decided to walk up the hill to the main part of Windsor Castle.

William, his wife Kate, and Harry chatted as they walked. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, swiftly stepped away to allow the brothers to talk further.

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Royal family in mourning

The palace emphasised beforehand that while the occasion would have the due pageantry that marks the passing of a senior royal, it remained an occasion for a mourning family to mark the passing of a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Mourners eschewed the tradition of wearing military uniforms, a step newspapers said was to prevent embarrassment to Harry, who despite serving two tours in Afghanistan during his army career, is not entitled to wear a uniform because he was stripped of his honorary military titles.

Prince Andrew, who stepped down from public duties in 2019 over controversy surrounding what he termed his "ill-judged" association with late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, had wanted to wear an admiral's uniform at the funeral, media reported.

Andrew sat closest to the queen.

Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip at a funeral on Saturday that celebrated his seven decades of service.
Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip at a funeral on Saturday that celebrated his seven decades of service.
Getty

Philip's dedication to his duty earned him widespread popularity in Britain, but he was also criticised by some for a number of off-the-cuff racist or abrupt comments which shocked princes, priests and presidents.

“He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm and also because you never knew what he might say next,” Harry said earlier this week of his grandfather.

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