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Palace source responds to reports about how Prince Harry learned of Prince Philip's death

Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on 9 April

Danielle Stacey

A Buckingham Palace source has responded to reports that the Duke of Sussex learned of the Duke of Edinburgh's death from Santa Barbara police.  

The source said: "Regardless of truth or otherwise, we would not comment on this as it is a personal and private matter which I don't believe is any way to in the public interest to print. 

"How someone is told of the passing of a loved one is not really suitable for conjecture or speculation. It is private."

READ: Prince Harry unable to grieve following Princess Diana's death

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WATCH: William and Harry walk in Prince Philip's funeral procession

According to TMZ, a representative from the US Embassy had tried to call Prince Harry just before 3am on 9 April to inform him of his grandfather's passing.

After repeated attempts to reach the Duke, the Embassy reportedly called the Santa Barbara's Sheriff's Department and an officer was despatched to Harry and Meghan's Montecito home.

When the police officer visited the Sussexes' home, he made contact with someone who told Harry to call the Embassy – and it is claimed that is how the Duke received the news that Prince Philip had died.

MORE: Prince Harry on the importance of family supporting each other in difficult times

MORE: Prince Harry's biggest revelations from mental health series The Me You Can't See

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Harry shared a close bond with his grandfather

The official statement from Buckingham Palace was released at midday in the UK on 9 April - which is eight hours ahead of California, where it was 4am. 

It read: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

Harry flew back to the UK last month to attend his grandfather's funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor – it was his first return since stepping back from royal duties in March 2020.

The Duke of Sussex joined brother Prince William and their cousin Peter Phillips in the funeral procession.

Only 30 members of the Queen's family were able to attend the service inside the chapel due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Harry flew back to the UK for Prince Philip's funeral in April

The Duchess of Sussex was unable to travel to the UK to attend the funeral in person due to the advanced stage of her pregnancy.

Both Meghan and Harry provided a wreath to be laid during the service, made up of a variety of locally sourced flowers, with a handwritten note from the Duchess.

Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle on 9 April and his funeral was held eight days later.

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