Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding is coming up in less than a week and there are new reports that a key member of the royal family may not be at the reception. The Express reports that Prince Philip will be absent, as he is still recovering from his recent hip surgery and does not want to be seen in a wheelchair because of his “independent spirit.”
According to the Express, The Duke of Edinburgh will still attend the wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel. However, he will “retire” and will not participate in any of the celebrations afterward, their source claims.
“He’s still in a bad way and it takes a long time to recover. The thing with the Duke is he will not want to be seen in a wheelchair publicly,” the royal insider reportedly said. “He’s a very independent person, he likes to do things himself. He’d rather miss the wedding than be seen out in a wheelchair.”
There’s previous evidence which shows that Prince Philip does not want to be photographed in the wheelchair, the Express reports. Since his release from the hospital on April 13, Philip attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the UK’s biggest equestrian show, which takes place on Windsor Castle’s private grounds. But he never left the car he was in, choosing to watch the show via binoculars instead. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II was photographed chatting with her husband through the passenger window of the Range Rover in a couple of shots from the event.
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According to Entertainment Tonight, one of the reasons why Prince Harry wanted to “expedite” his wedding to Meghan is because he’s concerned about his grandfather’s health.
“In fact, one of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly—this is really whirlwind by royal standards—is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding,” said royal expert, Katie Nicholl.
Furthermore, the closeness of the venue to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s home also influenced the decision to have the wedding at Windsor Castle and not a larger location like Westminster Abbey. Windsor Castle can hold about 800 people while Westminster Abbey has a seating capacity of about 2,000.
Harry spent a lot of his childhood in Windsor with his grandparents and went to school there for a time, Nicholl added. It’s also where Meghan spent time with the queen and got to know her.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be married on May 19 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.