KEY POINTS

  • The royal family was "quietly pleased" Meghan Markle couldn't make it to Prince Philip's funeral in April, a book claims
  • They reportedly didn't want a "circus" and a "spectacle" at the ceremony
  • Markle was unable to fly to the U.K. to attend the funeral due to her pregnancy

Some members of the British royal family were relieved that Meghan Markle did not attend Prince Philip's funeral earlier this year, a book has claimed.

A new epilogue included in the paperback release of royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's unauthorized biography on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, "Finding Freedom," claimed that several members of the firm were "understood to have been 'quietly pleased'" that Markle did not accompany Prince Harry to the funeral of Prince Philip, who died on April 9 two months shy of his 100th birthday, the Independent reported.

The book claimed, citing unnamed royal insiders, that they were afraid the duchess' attendance would create "a circus" or "a spectacle" following the couple's Oprah Winfrey interview, which aired a month prior to the passing of Prince Harry's grandfather.

Prince Philip was laid to rest over a week later on April 17. Prince Harry flew out to the U.K. for the ceremony but immediately returned home to Markle.

A palace spokesperson said at the time that Markle made "every effort" to join her husband for the funeral held at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. However, her doctors did not give her medical clearance to travel because she was already in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

"Meghan will be staying in California. She can’t go on doctor’s orders," an unnamed source told Us Weekly at the time. "She is too far along to fly and it’s recommended she rest in the final months."

Prince Harry and Markle heeded the doctors' advice because they were being "extra careful" as she had suffered a miscarriage last summer, the insider added. They welcomed their second child, daughter Lili, in June.

Meanwhile, the updated version of "Finding Freedom" — which is set to be released on the 24th anniversary of Princess Diana's death on Tuesday — also covered Prince Harry's reunion with the royal family at his grandfather's funeral.

A source "close" to Prince Harry was quoted as saying that the funeral was "surreal" for the duke but it also led to the start of reconciliation between him and his family, with "progress" and "efforts on all sides" being made.

Another unnamed source told the authors that it would take much more to mend their relationship, but Prince Harry's visit to the U.K. for his grandfather's funeral had "broken the ice."

In April, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had posted a brief tribute to Prince Philip following his death, saying, "Thank you for your service... You will be greatly missed."

Prince Harry later released a longer statement in which he praised his grandfather for being a "man of service, honor and great humor." The duke added that Prince Philip would always hold a special place in his and his family's hearts.

"He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next," Prince Harry wrote, as quoted by Harper's Bazaar.

He continued, "He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end."

Prince Harry and Markle's legal team earlier issued a statement saying that Scobie and Durand do not speak for them and that the claims in "Finding Freedom" are from the authors and not them. They also said they "did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. Photo: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images