The recent announcement from Buckingham Palace that Prince Harry would attend King Charles’ coronation alone, without his wife Meghan Markle, has once again highlighted the complicated relationship between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family.
Prince Harry would be present at the May 6 ceremony in London to support his father, while Meghan Markle, along with their young children, would stay in California.
Although King Charles is reportedly pleased with his son’s decision to attend, there are still concerns that the hoped-for reconciliation within the family has not yet been achieved. Despite this, a close friend of the couple emphasized that Prince Harry’s decision to attend the coronation without his wife was a personal one and did not necessarily indicate a deeper divide.
In late March, Prince Harry’s strained relationship with his family was brought to the forefront when he traveled to London for a court hearing pertaining to his legal battle against Associated Newspapers. However, during his stay in the UK, there was no communication between the Duke of Sussex and his father, King Charles, or his brother, Prince William, further emphasizing the deepening rift between them.
As per an anonymous insider who has knowledge of the royal family, Prince Harry’s memoir “Spare,” which was published in January and accused the royal family of disloyalty and media manipulation, deeply upset King Charles. Nonetheless, the source claims that Charles remains committed to his main priority, which is to have his son present at the coronation ceremony.
However, for Prince Harry, attending the coronation without his wife Meghan is expected to be a bittersweet experience. He is unlikely to have an official role and will not be participating in any other planned events, such as the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.
Since Prince Archie’s 4th birthday coincides with King Charles’ coronation, Meghan Markle will be celebrating her son’s special day at home with her youngest child, Princess Lilibet, who is currently 22 months old.
According to royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, the decision for Meghan Markle to stay in California and celebrate Prince Archie’s birthday instead of attending King Charles’ coronation is an “elegant solution.”
Smith also believes that Archie’s birthday provided a reasonable excuse for Meghan not to attend. However, those closest to the couple know that the media backlash Meghan faced in the UK during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year, and in the seven months since then, played a significant role in her decision.
One close friend of the couple explained that while Meghan would like to support her father-in-law, the constant scrutiny she faces in the media outweighs any support she could offer. The friend stated that there will always be individuals challenging the couple’s reasoning, and Meghan does not want to place herself in that position.