Why Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry Didn’t Attend the 2024 Met Gala

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Royals don’t always make Met Gala appearances—but if they did, we’d hope to see Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen tonight. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were nowhere to be seen at the star-studded event, which took place tonight in New York City. Their absence comes as no real surprise, given the couple’s track record of having never attended a Met Gala before.

Besides, the two are likely busy with preparations for upcoming international visits. Later this week, Harry is scheduled to return to London to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games Foundation. Afterwards, Meghan will reportedly join him on a trip to Nigeria, where the two will meet with service members ahead of this year's Invictus Games.

While members of the British royal family don't often frequent the Met Gala guest lists, there is precedent. Princess Beatrice had previously attended the event in 2018, when she wore a regal purple gown by Alberta Ferretti, and the late Princess Diana also attended in 1996, when she showed up in a midnight blue slipdress designed by then Dior creative director John Galliano.

princess diana is on hand at costume institute gala at the m
New York Daily News Archive - Getty Images

This year's dress code is “The Garden of Time,” a concept inspired by J.G. Ballard's 1962 short story of the same name. In essence, the theme examines the intrinsic connection between time and natural beauty—leaving the door wide open for attendees to interpret the dress code as they please.

“The Garden of Time” also complements the Costume Institute's spring exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” which will include about “250 objects spanning four centuries” from the Institute's vast collection, all of them “visually united by iconography related to nature, which will serve as a metaphor for the fragility and ephemerality of fashion,” according to a press release. The exhibition will feature a number of modern technologies in its display, too, “from cutting-edge tools, artificial intelligence, and computer-generated imagery to traditional formats of x-rays, video animation, light projection, and soundscapes.”

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