Harry & William ‘spoken on phone’ before funeral as ‘Kate plays peacekeeper’

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Prince William and Harry have spoken on the phone since his solo return to the UK for their grandfather Prince Philip's funeral, it is understood.

Kate Middleton is helping the brothers put on a "united" front for the Queen who returned to official duties just four days after the death of her husband of 73 years.

The princes are set to meet for the first time in a year and walk behind the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin during the ceremony in Windsor Castle on Saturday.

They have been at odds over Harry and his wife Meghan Markle's decision to quit the Royal Family and accuse it of racism in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

A Telegraph source said: "They know it is not about them on Saturday – it is about honouring their grandfather's memory and supporting their grandmother.

"I would be extremely surprised if that wasn't front and centre of both their minds.

"They will be keen to spend time together as a family, in the same time zone for once."

Another insider said: "The entire focus is on the Queen. No exceptions. A family unified."

  • Queen 'will never quit' as Prince Philip 'would want her to crack on' former aide claims

The princes are believed to have spoken on the phone since Harry landed at Heathrow following Buckingham Palace's announcement of Prince Philip's death last Friday.

The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be willing to act as "peacemaker" between the brothers, who have vowed to set aside their rift and try to reset their strained relationship to honour the memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, reports say.

Harry described Kate as the "big sister I never had" when she became engaged to William 11 years ago.

But the Duke of Sussex claimed William was "trapped" and said Prince Charles cut him off financially following Megxit in the bombshell TV interview last month.

Kate was also accused by Meghan of making her cry in a row over bridesmaids dresses.

  • Meghan Markle 'ready to forgive' Royal Family after Prince Philip’s death, pal claims

The funeral is set to "bring back painful" memories of Diana's for the brothers who are set to unveil a sculpture in memory of their mother in the gardens at Kensington Palace together this summer.

Harry is understood to have chosen to self-isolate at Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle where the Queen is based, rather than at Kensington Palace where his brother lives with his wife and three children.

In two statements with very different tones released 30 minutes apart on Monday, Prince William praised his grandfather's lifetime of service to "Queen, country and Commonwealth".

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Harry said: "He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end'."

It came as the Queen, 94, returned to her duties during her official eight-days of mourning by hosting a retirement ceremony for the former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel on Tuesday.

Earl Peel was the Lord Chamberlain, which is the most senior officer role in the royal household. He had been overseeing arrangements for the duke's funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge.

  • Meghan Markle
  • Prince Charles
  • Prince Harry
  • Prince Philip
  • Prince William
  • Queen
  • Royal Family

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