They infamously stepped down as senior members of the British royal family in January 2020 and ever since, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship with the monarch has been strained. So, the question of whether King Charles wants Meghan at his coronation remains.
Moments after the Queen’s death on September 8, 2022, Charles was dubbed the new head of the British royal family and days later, on September 10, 2022, the Privy Council proclaimed him the sovereign. The clerk of the council said, “Charles III, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of his other realms and territory, King, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith, to whom we do acknowledge all faith and obedience with humble affection, beseeching god by whom kings and queens do reign to bless his majesty with long and happy years to reign over us. God Save the King.”
According to Daily Mail, the new King would break coronation conventions and be significantly different from when his mother was crowned. “The King has stripped back a lot of the Coronation in recognition that the world has changed in the past 70 years,” an insider told Daily Mail. The coronation has been planned for years under the name “Operation Gold Orb.” Now, the news is Meghan is skipping the ceremony.
Why is Meghan Markle not going to King Charles’ coronation? The official reason is that she will be celebrating Archie’s fourth birthday in California with her children, which falls on the same day. However, it’s likely that she’s not attending due to all the drama that’s been happening between the Sussexes and the Royal Family.
Omid Scobie—who worked with Meghan and Prince Harry for his book about them, Finding Freedom—told UK TV’s This Morning on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, that Markle was only using son Prince Archie’s fourth birthday as an excuse to stay in California, adding that he figured the royal family would be “relieved” she’s not attending, per Page Six.
“I would put it down to the fact that so much of the attention then goes on someone who they would rather the attention didn’t go onto,” he claimed of the duchess. “If you look back at some of Meghan and Harry’s biggest problems, it was all down to the fact that everyone was always talking about them and the attention was on them at times when it shouldn’t have been.” He continued: “People around the Sussexes guided press … that this is very much about Archie’s fourth birthday,” he told the UK Breakfast show. “I disagree with that,” he said.
“At this point, it’s become so personal,” a close friend of the former Royals told People. “Maybe what they wanted wasn’t achieved, but at the end of the day, he’s going there to support his dad.” The outlet reported that Charlies is “pleased” his son will be there, even though his wife won’t be there at all. The source emphasized that “things are strained” between the family members but Harry “will happily go along with whatever the plan is” and that his main concern about attending was the issue of his security, which has been addressed. A palace insider also told them what they think Harry will do once he gets back to California, “He will look back on it and think it is better to come and play his part and say, ‘I saw my father crowned,'” says a source close to the royal household. “And tell his children about it.”
Though a source who’s a friend of the Sussexes also said that Meghan wanted to be at the coronation, but certain circumstances impacted the trip. “Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support,” the source says. “There’s always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?”
Several royal experts put in their two cents as to why Meghan couldn’t come. “It’s an elegant solution,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith told PEOPLE. She told the outlet that Archie’s birthday “gave them a reasonable out for Meghan not to come.”
She also echoed the same sentiment of security which was a major issue that was highlighted in Harry and Meghan’s documentary. “An insider tells me that they were a bit concerned about her security and the response [from the public]. They can’t control [what] the public would’ve given her — which would paint Britain in a very bad light too,” she said to Us about how potential protection would have “cost a fortune.”
Dunlop also talked about how there was a double standard when it came to Meghan attending the Coronation. “She would’ve been damned if she did and damned if she didn’t,” the royal expert said. “Harry’s authored [their] history. Meghan’s very much taken a backseat over the last few months. And Harry’s front footed [the narrative].”
A source told Daily Mail in December 2022 that Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are welcome to attend King Charles’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in London because they’re family. “Harry is his son and His Majesty will always love him,” the insider said. “While things are difficult at the moment, the door will always be left ajar.”
According to a source quoted in Us Weekly, Charles was “sad” his daughter-in-law wouldn’t be there. “Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance. Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them,” a source said, “but is thrilled [Prince] Harry will be in attendance.”
How did King Charles respond to Meghan Markle missing his coronation? According to a source quoted in Us Weekly, Charles was “sad” his daughter-in-law wouldn’t be there. “Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance. Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them,” a source said, “but is thrilled [Prince] Harry will be in attendance.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, that the Duke of Sussex will be at the ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6. “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” they said in the statement, with later information arising that Meghan would be celebrating Archie’s fourth birthday on the same day.
There was some speculation that Harry and Meghan wouldn’t even score in an invite to the coronation given how strained the relationship with his father seems following the fallout of his explosive memoir Spare. A representative of Harry and Meghan confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had indeed been invited to King Charles’ coronation. “I can confirm The Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation,” a spokesperson for the Archewell founders told The Guardian on March 5, 2023 “An immediate decision on whether The Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”
Harry revealed in an interview with ITV in January 2023 that he wants to attend King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, but the decision depends on his father. “If you are invited to the Coronation, will you come?” ITV News anchor Tom Bradby asked Harry, who responded, “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”
The interview came around the time of Harry’s memoir, Spare, in which he slammed Charles and his brother, Prince William, whom he called his “archnemesis.” “There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into, or was played by, the ‘heir/spare,’” Harry told Good Morning America at the time about his and William’s relationship.
On February 8, 2023, a source told Entertainment Tonight that William thinks that Harry “crossed a line.” “The family is appalled that Harry has revealed such private and lurid details which are completely inappropriate,” the source said, adding that no one thought Harry would go this far and share this much. “He’s gone about dealing with it the wrong way. The problem is no family conversation can ever take place because Harry claims he and [his wife] Meghan Markle are opposed to leaks and then he and Meghan share extremely private family matters with the public.”
Another source told People, that the King absolutely wants his son to attend his coronation. “It is such a momentous occasion for Charles, and he would want his son to be at the coronation to witness it. He would like to have Harry back in the family,” the source says. “If they don’t sort it out, it will always be part of the King’s reign and how he has left his family disjointed. He has had a reputation as a distant parent, and it would be awful for him for that to continue.”
In his first speech as king in 2022, Charles addressed the changes in titles for his family. He first addressed his wife Camilla as “Queen Consort.” Then he proceeded to talk about his son, William’s, new title. “As my Heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades,” Charles continued. “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.” Tywysog Cymru means Prince of Wales in Welsh.
For more about Prince Harry, read his upcoming memoir, Spare. Told for the first time in his own words, the book takes readers through the Duke of Sussex’s life with the British royal family, from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 to how the moment led to his decision decades later to move to America with his wife, Meghan Markle, and leave Buckingham Palace for good in 2020. “With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the publisher’s description reads.
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