Sir John Major said yesterday that the “friction” between the Royal Family and the Duke of Sussex was “better ended as quickly as possible”.
The former prime minister has spoken of the rift after Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Harry will return from the United States to attend the Duke’s funeral.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Sir John was asked if he agreed with the comments of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who said: ‘Many families come together and overcome tensions and broken relationships at the time of a funeral. Something very deep unites them again – that would be true for this family, I’m sure.
Sir John, who was appointed special tutor to Princes William and Harry after the death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, said: “I am sure he is right, I believe he is right and I am right. certainly hope.
“The friction that we are told has arisen is a friction that is better to end as soon as possible, and a shared emotion, a shared pain, right now because of the death of their father, their grandpa, I think this is a perfect opportunity.
“I very much hope that it is possible to repair any cracks that may exist.”
The duke, 36, is said to have landed in London on Sunday, to begin the required quarantine period before meeting his family. Under current travel restrictions, those who test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arriving in the UK must be quarantined for 10 days, but can end isolation after five days if a second test is negative.
The Covid-19 guidelines allow a person to temporarily leave their quarantine location for humanitarian reasons, which includes funerals.
Guidelines posted on the government website say: “You can leave your place of isolation under limited circumstances, including compassionate reasons.
“This includes attending the funeral for a member of the household, close family member or friend (if no member of the household or close family member can attend the funeral).”
According to unconfirmed reports, the Duke boarded an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow, landing at lunchtime on Sunday.
The heavily pregnant Duchess, who is due to start maternity leave in around four weeks, has been told by her doctor not to travel.
With tensions in the family remaining high after the couple’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, there had already been speculation the Duchess would decide to stay in California rather than risk overshadowing the grim occasion.
It will be the first time the Duke has set foot on British soil since the couple flew to Canada last March, after stepping down as active family members.
While many will be focused on his interactions with his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, and his father, the Prince of Wales, sources close to the family have insisted any difference will be set aside out of respect for the Duke of ‘Edinburgh.
Prince Harry is believed to be staying at Windsor Castle or Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor Estate, while in seclusion.
He would be keen to see his grandmother, the Queen, with whom he would have remained in close contact.
It was Her Majesty who took charge of the Royal Family’s response to the crisis that engulfed them following the Sussexes’ interview with Winfrey, and who insisted the couple remain “very loved ones ”from the family.
The monarch is said to have personally contacted her grandson to talk about the series of damaging claims they have made regarding race and mental health.
The Sussexes’ decision to publish a statement about Prince Philip on their Archewell Foundation website on Friday shortly after 5 p.m. reportedly raised eyebrows in some quarters, as was done without consultation with the royal family and preceded official tributes from the Prince of Wales. and the other children of the Duke.
The post, for which the rest of the website was gutted, read: “Thank you for your service … we will miss you very much.”