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Harry and Meghan in Windsor with Kate Middleton and William: ‘An obvious decision, not to displease Charles’

Disillusioned, the Sun's photographer Arthur Edwards said: 'The Prince of Wales knew that if Meghan showed up directly at the funeral, everyone would be talking about her, diverting attention away from the Queen. And that is not what the King wants'.

Queen Elizabeth's last act was to bring Prince Harry and William (at least physically) closer together. After two and a half years they walked side by side, with no cousin to separate them as during grandfather Philip's funeral, to pay homage to their recently deceased grandmother. With them also their wives: the Princess of Wales Kate Middleton, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

Inviting his brother and his wife to join him and his wife to meet the crowd in front of the gates of Windsor Castle was William, with a gesture that Omid Scobie, a journalist close to the Sussexes, called an 'olive branch' towards the duke. But Arthur Edwards, the Sun's royal photographer, gives a decidedly more disenchanted reading of it.

"I was astonished when King Charles expressed his love for Harry and Meghan in his first speech, but seeing Meghan Markle get out of that car literally left me dumbfounded," Edwards told journalist Piers Morgan, acknowledging, however, that the Prince of Wales could not have done otherwise. 

"It was obvious that William would make such a decision," he added: "He asked his brother for a combined effort, because he knew that if Meghan showed up directly at the funeral, everyone would be talking about her. And that's certainly not what the king wanted: Monday will be the day of the final farewell to the Queen and Charles wants everyone to be focused on his mother and nothing and no one else'. There must be no distractions of any kind, he added: and Meghan would become one.

So if William extended the 'olive branch', as Scobie put it, it was not (only) out of love for his brother, but more importantly for the Crown. 'Who knows if they will ever one day really get along again, however the rift between them remains,' Edwards concluded, sceptically.

Suggesting that Edwards is not entirely wrong is the attention that has been sparked on social media by the pictures of the princes with their consorts. 'William is not as cavalier with his wife as Harry is with Meghan', 'Harry is a real prince': this was the tenor of the comments of the Twitter people in front of the pictures. Now, quite apart from the fact that William and Kate have never held hands in public but have never appeared less than close and complicit, the body language of all four tells of a far more complex situation, according to body language expert Judi James. 

'There is more to it than a desire to behave well, to express respect for the Queen and the new King,' the expert commented to The Sun. 'William's confident demeanour and straight posture show how he was the director of everything. He wanted himself and his brother centre stage, as close as ever. The awkwardness was obvious: after all that had happened in recent months, neither of them was comfortable. But equally evident is the affection that binds them, and that is there, very strong, even under all the quarrels and bitterness'.

But it was not all doom and gloom. Meghan appeared clearly distressed and almost "clinging to Harry", while Kate "did her job", not pretending to get along with those who caused her husband so much pain. "The princess clearly showed her feelings towards Meghan: there was not the slightest exchange of glances between them, Kate quickly got out of the car and walked ahead of the others, to do her job as best she could," James commented. "The one moment they were face to face, they both tightened their lips instead of smiling at each other or at their husbands."

So, although on the surface the picture has rekindled the hopes of those who would like to see Lady Diana's children reunited, a closer eye has not missed certain details. And, agreeing with Edwards, such an accurate analysis of their relationship on the day that is to be dedicated entirely to Queen Elizabeth would have been out of place. William's decision was therefore common sense and far-sighted. Qualities that a king – even a future king – absolutely must have.


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