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

In mid-April, Buckingham Palace finally got a decision from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on whether they will be attending King Charles’ coronation today...and Meghan and her and Harry's children Lilibet and Archie opted out. And, true to the decision then, they did not pull a surprise and appear in London today for the ceremony.

The Palace revealed on April 12 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.”

The reason why Meghan, Lili, and Archie didn't go is bigger than it being Archie's birthday toady, with Meghan staying in Montecito, California, to celebrate it with Lili and Archie. Here's all that came out regarding Meghan's choice.

Meghan didn't want to take the spotlight from Charles and sought to “protect her peace.”

Omid Scobie, the royal reporter who co-authored the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry biography Finding Freedom, told ITV’s “This Morning” Wednesday that Meghan was purposely trying not to take attention from Charles.

When the news first came out, “people around the Sussexes guided press at the time that this was very much about Archie’s fourth birthday. I disagree with that to some extent because I also know from friends of hers that she’s protecting her peace as well,” Scobie said. “She is aware of how much of the spotlight goes on her when she sets even a foot near the story. And I think a lot of that, although it’s often portrayed as intentional that she wants to steal the spotlight, but in this case, [if] she had simply come over and stood next to her husband, I would imagine the commentary and the narrative on the day would be very different for the days to follow.”

“I would say so [that some members of the family are quite relieved Meghan isn’t going],” he continued. “And 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. And if you look back at some of Harry and Meghan’s biggest problems, it was all down to the fact that everyone was always talking about them, the attention was always on them at times when it shouldn’t have been.”

The relationship between the Sussexes and royals is still strained, and the scrutiny that comes with Meghan attending wasn't worth it .

Before Scobie's comments, People reported on April 19 that the relationship between Meghan, Harry, and the royal family is still strained.

“At this point, it's become so personal,” a friend said. “Maybe what they wanted wasn't achieved, but at the end of the day, he's going there to support his dad.”

For the Duchess of Sussex, “Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support,” the close friend said. “There's always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?”

Archie's birthday is a factor: Harry really is just attending the coronation, then going back to California for it, same day.

When the news first came out, 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. As the coronation is on Archie’s fourth birthday, he is planning to travel back to California immediately. Royal reporter Carolyn Durand shared that “I understand Prince Harry arrived this morning in the UK, the 5th.He is staying at Frogmore Cottage [the Sussexes' home they will soon be losing]. He will be in a morning suit at the Coronation. He will depart tomorrow, [May 6]. Prince Archie’s birthday will be a small gathering with friends & family in Montecito, [California].”

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.

Harry and Meghan waited some time before publicly sharing their coronation attendance decision.

Just the week before the April 12 attendance statement, 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.

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