Prince Harry paid homage to his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II during his recent return to the U.K. — but he didn’t stick around to see other relatives.
“Everybody knows how close Harry and the queen had always been so visiting [her burial site] and being able to pay his respects meant the world to him,” a source exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “Although Harry is living in the States now, the U.K. will always feel like home to him, so it felt very special that he was able to attend.”
Harry, 38, had a “very meaningful experience” during his stop at St. George’s Chapel on Friday, September 8, the insider says. The prince marked the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death by spending time at her final resting place. He was in town to attend the 2023 WellChild Awards one day prior.
“Although Elizabeth passed away just a year ago, Harry can’t help but recognize that his mom, [Princess Diana], and grandmother’s anniversary of passing is only within days of each other,” the source tells Us, referring to Diana’s death in August 1997.
The late princess, who shared Prince William and Harry with ex-husband King Charles III, was 36 when she was killed in a car accident in Paris. Elizabeth, meanwhile, died in September 2022 at the age of 96. The late monarch celebrated her 70th year on the throne that June.
“[This was] something he needed to do alone,” a second source tells Us of Harry’s choice to visit St. George’s Chapel without wife Meghan Markle. “Meghan stayed back with the kids and helped with a lot of last-minute work [ahead of] the Invictus Games.”
Aside from honoring the queen’s memory, Harry kept his U.K. trip strictly about business before jetting off to Düsseldorf, Germany, on Saturday, September 9, for the start of the Invictus Games.
“Harry didn’t see his father or brother,” the second insider notes. “He felt that this occasion was for him to pay his respects to his grandmother.” (Harry has been at odds with Charles, 74, and William, 41, since he and Meghan, 42, relocated to the U.S. in 2020 and the pair stepped back as senior royals. Tension grew after Harry published his tell-all, Spare, in January, in which he slammed The Firm and his relatives.)
Harry — who is a cofounder of the international sporting event for wounded, injured or sick military veterans — will be joined by Meghan for the closing ceremony at the Invictus Games, which conclude on Saturday, September 16.
The couple “felt it was better for her to hang back home for now and stay with the kids for a bit longer,” the first insider tells Us. Harry and Meghan share son Archie, 4, and daughter Lili, 2.
Watch the exclusive to learn more about Harry’s U.K. visit — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.