Despite reports of a rift between, the brothers united in their grief on Wednesday, walking side by side behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin during a , where the queen will lie in state until Monday’s . During a procession for last year, the brothers notably did not stand next to each other.
The last time the princes stood side by side during a funeral procession was for their mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 at age 36. At the time, William was 15 and Harry was 12.
For much of that procession, the brothers walked in a line with their uncle, Charles, Earl of Spencer, between them, and with their father alongside. When they got to Westminster Abbey, the brothers stood side by side in front of the hearse that held their mother’s coffin.
CBS News royal contributor Tina Brown said that at the time, the royal family wanted the young princes to walk behind their mothers’ coffin as a sign of tradition and continuity. “It was the need to express that continuity of the monarchy, the constitution. This is the pageantry of the British constitution being played out in the most extraordinary way,” Brown said during the live broadcast of the queen’s procession on CBS News.
“And those symbols are so incredibly important to the march of history,” Brown continued. “And that’s what we are seeing today.”
When their grandfather, Prince Philip, died in 2021, the brothers’ relationship was so tense, a cousin walked in between them, Brown said. Photos from the procession show them separated by Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne.
In 2020, Harry and Meghan hadand moved to California. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple spoke about the pain they suffered and criticized the family for not helping them when tabloids got out of control and Meghan faced racism.
In his, King Charles III made a public gesture of support for his younger son, saying: “I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
There are still “some major unresolved issues” between the brothers,, a royal correspondent who’s reported on the monarchy for over a decade. Yet they came together for the queen’s funeral procession.
“It’s wonderful that they’re walking side by side, because it sends that message of, this is so much bigger, this ceremony, than any temporary feud,” Brown said.
When they reached Westminster, the princes each stood next to their wives, Kate, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
In 2017, Prince Harryfollowing his mother’s death in an interview with Bryony Gordon of Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. He admitted he was close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions and that it was not until his late 20s that he sought help to process his grief.
Harry said it was his brother who finally convinced him to get professional help after suffering in silence, reports CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata.
Despite their recent differences, the brothers have come together for some other momentous family events. In 2021, they joined to unveil a statue in Diana’s honor outside Kensington Palace, marking what would have been her 60th birthday.