United Kingdom

Prince Philip funeral: Meghan Markle's friends Gayle King and Omid Scobie lead US TV coverage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's close friends Gayle King and Omid Scobie are leading coverage of Prince Philip's funeral in the US today. 

CBS This Morning host King is anchoring a special report on the channel from New York, while Scobie - author of the glowing biography Finding Freedom - will appear live from Windsor for ABC. 

Scobie announced Harry's personal tribute to Philip earlier this week, which called him 'a legend of banter', and has claimed the funeral will be the 'first steps' to him mending his relationship with William. 

CBS This Morning host King will lead a special report about Prince Philip's funeral on the channel

Scobie - author of the glowing biography Finding Freedom - will appear live from Windsor for ABC

Royal aides are 'walking on eggshells' as they try to navigate the rift, sources say.

King recently claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a deal with CBS and ITV to postpone their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey if Prince Philip had died. 

She had already sparked a row after revealing that the Sussexes told her that they had held talks with Harry's brother Prince William and father Charles which 'were not productive'. 

Scobie is also known to be friends with Meghan, and last month published an email in which she demanded aides release a statement claiming Kate drove her to tears at a bridesmaid dress fitting.

It emerged on Thursday that William and Harry would not stand shoulder to shoulder behind their grandfather's coffin. Instead, they will be either side of their cousin, Peter Phillips.

Insiders stressed that the arrangement should not be taken as a sign that the brothers refused to walk alongside each other.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'This is a funeral... we will not be drawn into those perceptions of drama. The arrangements have been agreed and they reflect Her Majesty's wishes.'

Sources did admit, however, that the fraternal feud has taken up 'much thought and energy' in the Lord Chamberlain's Office, which is responsible for today's arrangements.

'Everyone is walking on eggshells so as not to exacerbate the situation,' said one.

'To be fair, both William and Harry have made clear that they wish to focus on mourning their grandfather and do not want anything to get in the way of that.

'But it has made everyone doubly nervous about saying anything that could be remotely construed of being critical of the other side. It's been a minefield.'

Scobie announced Harry's personal tribute to Philip earlier this week, which called him 'a legend of banter', and has claimed the funeral will be the 'first steps' to him mending his relationship with William

Sources insist the formation of those walking behind the coffin was based on 'bloodlines and age'. 

The group will be led by the duke's two elder children, with the Prince of Wales, 72, on the right and the Princess Royal, 70, on the left.

They will be followed by the Duke of York, 61, and the Earl of Wessex, 57.

Philip's three adult grandsons are next, with William, 38, on the 'elder brother' column behind Charles and Andrew, while Harry, 36, will be behind Anne and Edward.

Between them will be Anne's son Peter, 43. Although he is older than William, he is not a direct heir to the throne.

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Earl of Snowdon will follow behind the trio, with Philip's staff bringing up the rear.

Tensions within the family have already seen the Queen change the dress code for the occasion.

Prince Philip will be laid to rest at a ceremony at Windsor Castle today 

A royal ceremonial funeral normally involves honorary military uniforms – but Philip's mourners be wearing day dress instead.

This spares Harry from being the only member of the family not in matching dress, as he was stripped of his military titles after quitting as a front-line royal.

Last night the Duke of Sussex was finishing his Covid quarantine after flying in from the US. His pregnant wife Meghan and baby son Archie did not travel.

The funeral will be the first time Harry has seen William – or the rest of his family – for more than a year.

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