Why Meghan Markle, Archie, and Lilibet Aren’t Going With Prince Harry to King Charles’ Coronation

Buckingham Palace finally got a decision from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on whether they will be attending King Charles’ coronation next month…and Meghan is opting out. The Palace revealed this morning that it “is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

People got intel from a friend of Harry’s regarding his decision. Harry “wanted to be at the service to support his father at this important moment in his life,” the outlet wrote, per the friend. The coronation falls on May 6, which is also Archie’s fourth birthday. People reports that Meghan will be spending that weekend in California celebrating Archie’s big day with him and his sister Lilibet, hence her absence.

Harper’s Bazaar reported that Archie’s birthday “played a role in the decision for Meghan to stay behind.” The outlet added that Harry will attend the coronation ceremony but is not expected to attend other events over the weekend.

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Just a week ago, the couple had not yet decided whether they’d attend the coronation. Their spokesperson informed the BBC that there was “no update on whether they were attending.”

Harry was last in the U.K. for a lawsuit against the Daily Mail’s publishers, Associated Newspapers Ltd, in late March. Notably, in his witness statement, Harry delivered blunt words about the royal family and their dealings with the British press. Specifically, he said he felt the institution withheld information from him regarding his phone being hacked by The Sun’s publishers.

“The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking [News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun] and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation,” he said. He also expressed dismay over the family’s “never complain, never explain” policy with the British tabloids.

When dating Meghan, he revealed he became “increasingly troubled by the [royal family’s] approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious, persistent attacks on, harassment of, and intrusive, sometimes racist articles concerning Meghan.”

The family never commented on that statement.

While Harry did not personally give exact details on why Meghan and his children would not be joining him at the coronation, security is likely a concern and one he has spoken about before. Harry has been in court trying to fight for his right to pay for royal protection officers when his family is in the U.K. due to the threats they’ve received. (Harry and Meghan forfeited that kind of taxpayer-funded security when they stepped back from their working senior royal family roles in January 2020.)

Since the couple’s last visit to the U.K. in September, Harry and Meghan lost even more protection. In March, the couple’s rep confirmed that Charles ordered them to vacate their overseas home, Frogmore Cottage, where they had increased security since it was on the Windsor Castle estate, which is protected by armed police.

Royal reporter Omid Scobie stated in Yahoo! UK that the couple was “left stunned” by Charles’ decision, per sources. The threat of Charles not seeing his grandchildren didn’t bother the monarch enough to change his mind, Scobie added. “I think the King is just fed up with the entire situation,” a royal source told Scobie.

Headshot of Alyssa Bailey

Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.


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