Princess Diana 'would have wanted Prince Harry to do right thing and go home for Prince Philip's memorial'

The Princess of Wales' former personal chef shared anecdotes of when Diana put her son's royal duties first

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Princess Diana would have told her son, Prince Harry, that attending the memorial service for his grandfather is the “right thing to do”, a royal chef says.

Today, the Duke of Sussex will remain at his home in California while the rest of the Royal family gather at Westminster Abbey to commemorate Prince Philip.

A spokesman confirmed the decision last month, adding that Harry hopes to visit his grandmother, the Queen, soon.

It comes after Harry decided to pursue legal action against the Home Office over the level of protective security provided in the UK when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.

Darren McGrady, personal chef to the monarch for 15 years, told GB News: “There are bigger things than all of us out there.

“I would have loved to see him [Harry] say ‘You know what, I’m going to the memorial for my grandfather because my mother would have said it’s the right thing to do’.”

On Twitter, he wrote: “‘His grandfather would have given him a clip round the ear and told him to grow up.”

Front cover of the Order of Service for The Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service (left) and a seperate picture of Prince Philip (right)
Front cover of the Order of Service for The Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service (left) and a seperate picture of Prince Philip (right)
Prince Harry and Princess Diana
Prince Harry and Princess Diana

Mr McGrady knew the Princess of Wales and her sons while working as their private cook at Kensington for four years.

He was witness to the boys' formative years, from “holding Harry as a baby while Diana ate her cereal to pouring orange juice for a little William who was going riding on his Shetland pony, Smokey”.

Mr McGrady, speaking in an interview with GB News on behalf of UK coffee retailer Coffee Friend, said: “Watching them grow up, they were close. So, it's sad today, seeing that relationship between the two of them.

“I think that she [Diana] would have been so, so sad right now.”

Harry and William have been separated by an ongoing rift, since March 2019, reportedly started over the Meghan Markle bullying claims, historian Robert Lacey revealed.

The siblings last reunited eight months ago when they unveiled a statue of their late mother at Kensington Palace.

The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London

Mr McGrady said he wished the brothers would put their differences aside for the Thanksgiving Service and look back to the situations where their mother put royal duties first.

He shared an anecdote from one Christmas Diana spent by herself at Kensington, as she felt it important her sons were at Sandringham, where they belong as members of the monarchy.

He said: “When Prince Charles and the Princess separated, the ruling was that they both had the children alternate Christmases.

“It was the Princess’ Christmas with the boys and I thought okay, well I'm working Christmas, Wills and Harry are going to be here with the boss. But she said to me, 'Darren, the boys are going to Sandringham for Christmas' and I just was quite shocked.

“She said, 'They should be with the Queen, they are members of the Royal Family, it's where they should be'.

Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry outside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle 19/4/1992
Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry outside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle 19/4/1992

“The Princess was putting duty first, the way the Queen has done for 70 years and that sort of stuck with me, that she was willing to give up the boys for the Queen, for the monarchy.”

Mr McGrady continued: “I wish Harry could look back to that and think ‘that's why we went there at Christmas and left mum on her own at Kensington and think whatever the differences are, we can put them aside for the memorial for Prince Philip and for the Queen’s Jubilee.'"

Harry and Meghan moved to the US and stepped back from their royal duties in 2020.

The Duke of Sussex flew back from California for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April last year at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and will attend the Invictus Games in Holland next week.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh waving from the balcony after Her Majesty's Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh waving from the balcony after Her Majesty's Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a garden party in Paris
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a garden party in Paris

Today’s memorial, which will take place from 11:30am, celebrates Prince Philip’s public service and a "long life lived fully".

Among senior members of the Royal Family, representatives of some of the 700 charitable organisations that he supported will be in attendance.

Missing gestures from Philip’s pre-pandemic arrangements will see Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award holders and members of the youth UK Cadet Force associations line the steps of Westminster Abbey as guests arrive.

Prayers will be said for the Duke’s “gifts of character; for his humour and resilience; his fortitude and devotion to duty” by the Chapels Royal’s Sub-Dean, while “his energy and spirit of adventure” and “strength and constancy” will be heralded by royal estates’ clergy – known as the Queen’s domestic chaplains.

The Queen is expected to attend, Buckingham Palace confirmed this morning.