Buckingham Palace previously announced that Meghan Markle won't be attending the funeral of her grandfather-in-law, Prince Philip, since her physicians have advised against it as she is around six months pregnant. However, friends of the Duchess of Sussex have claimed that there is another reason behind her decision to skip the ceremony.

Friends of the "Suits" alum told Mail Online that she had a "special bond" with Prince Philip and "adored him," but has decided not to accompany her husband Prince Harry at the funeral as she "doesn't want to be the centre of attention."

"Meghan said her main concern right now is supporting Harry. She said she left it up to him as to whether or not she would attend the funeral," a source close to the Duchess said.

The funeral will be the first time Prince Harry will be seen with his family since his and Meghan's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey where they made serious allegations against Buckingham Palace. It is also the first time that Harry, who arrived in the UK on Sunday, has been in his homeland since he left for California last year after quitting as a working royal.

Tensions are expected to be on the rise between Harry and other royals due to his interview which was aired last month at a time when Prince Philip was struggling with his health in his longest hospital stay ever. However, Meghan's friends said that she is "willing to forgive and move forward" from her complaints in the wake of the tragic loss.

"Meghan said it's during these times when family should come together, put their differences aside and unite as one. She said this is what Prince Philip would want," a source said.

However, there is also the concern of Meghan's health, and her mother Doria Ragland is "adamant" that she should not travel amid the coronavirus pandemic when she is this far in her pregnancy.

"Doria insisted that Meghan stay behind and support Harry from afar. Like Harry, Doria is very protective of Meghan and doesn't want to see her putting her own health at risk. Stress is the last thing Meghan needs right now," a friend said.

The pal also said that her not attending or missing the funeral won't affect her relationship with her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. Meghan reportedly told them that the monarch "understands her absence and would want her to stay safe and healthy" for her unborn baby girl, who will be the eleventh great-grandchild of the queen.

The former American actress also believes that it will be the right opportunity for her husband to repair his relationship with his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, after he admitted to differences with them in the interview. "She doesn't need to be there for that," Meghan's friend said.

Meanwhile, a source told Us Weekly that Meghan is not going to the funeral on "doctor's orders," but has already spoken to the Queen to "express her sympathies" about the demise of her husband of 73 years.

IBTPOTY2017 Pictures of the week
25 December 2017: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the Christmas Day service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in King's Lynn, along with Prince William, Prince Philip and Kate Middleton Chris Jackson/Getty Images