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Why the Easter weekend will be particularly poignant for Prince Harry as he celebrates away from dad King Charles

The Duke of Sussex will remain in California with his family

King Charles and Prince Harry
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
29 March 2024
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Prince Harry will soon be busy making special memories with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet during the Easter weekend at their home in California.

Across the pond, his father, King Charles, will attend church for the annual Easter Mattins Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Easter Sunday. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet© Netflix
Prince Harry and Meghan will spend Easter with their children Archie and Lilibet in California

The weekend will no doubt be poignant for Harry, who previously mentioned in his memoir, Spare, that his dad would "always make a big deal about Easter". 

In one of his chapters, in which he details the fractured relationship between him and his brother Prince William, the Duke of Sussex recalled a moment when the Prince and Princess of Wales were left upset over "Easter presents". 

"Willy and Kate were apparently upset that we hadn't given them Easter presents," he wrote. "Easter presents? Was that a thing? Willy and I had never exchanged Easter presents. Pa always made a big deal about Easter, sure, but that was Pa." 

royal couple walking to easter service © Getty Images
King Charles and Queen Camilla will attend Easter service on Sunday

Later in his book, Prince Harry looked back fondly at the "simple Easter Sundays" when he returned to St. George's Chapel for his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in September 2022. 

"When we got to St. George's Chapel, amid the roar of dozens of bagpipes, I thought of all the big occasions I'd experienced under that roof. Grandpa's farewell, my wedding. 

WATCH: See the Sussexes setting up an outdoor Easter egg hunt for Prince Archie

"Even the ordinary times, simple Easter Sundays, felt especially poignant, the whole family alive and together. Suddenly I was wiping my eyes. Why now? I wondered. Why? The following afternoon Meg and I left for America." 

The British royal family tend to flock to Windsor for this religious holiday. The Easter Sunday service takes place in the private chapel at St George's Chapel, a 14th-century building located in the Lower Ward of the castle. 

The Wales family will not attend Easter service next week
The Wales family will not attend Easter service next week

Crowds often gather here to welcome the royals before the service begins and afterwards many of the ladies receive bouquets from local children who have also attended church. 

Over the years, Queen Elizabeth II was joined by immediate and extended members of her family on Easter Service, including her grandchildren, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips and all of their respective families. 

LISTEN: Inside Princess Kate's cancer announcement

This year, however, Prince William and Princess Kate and their children will miss church on Sunday as they spend Easter together privately, amid Kate's cancer diagnosis, which she revealed last Friday had been discovered in post-operative tests following her major abdominal surgery.


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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