“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world,” an insider shared of the 41-year-old former actress, who shares son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 22 months, with Harry, 38. “Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first.”
The date of the coronation—Saturday, May 6, happens to coincide with her son Archie’s 4th birthday. While details of Archie’s birthday celebration are not known, sources reveal that Meghan did not want to be away from her eldest child on his special day.
“She feels very grateful to be included in such a special occasion by the royal family and is glad that Harry can go and show support on behalf of their family,” the source added. “But being the same day as Archie’s birthday, unfortunately, she’s just going to have to miss out on this one.”
The palace announced on April 12, that Harry would return to the U.K. for the festivities without his wife. “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th,” read a statement. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”
Last month, reports confirmed that the Duke of Sussex had been sent an invitation to the event, but at the time it was uncertain whether he would attend. In January, the Spare author hinted that he was still on the fence about going.
“There’s a lot that can happen between now and then,” Harry said during an interview with ITV. “But, you know, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
King Charles on the other hand is “thrilled” his youngest son will be there to watch him as he’s officially crowned, but the monarch wishes his daughter-in-law was also coming. “Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance,” the source explained. “Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them.”
Since Harry and Meghan’s announcement in January 2020 about stepping down as senior working royals, tension between the Sussexes and the royal family has remained high. In a bombshell interview with CBS one year later, the couple revealed reasons behind their departure, including accusations of racism by unnamed members of the royal family. Despite returning to the U.K. on several occasions, the drama escalated once again in January with the release of Harry’s memoir, Spare, which contained sensational allegations about his father and brother, Prince William.
“Charles is distraught. He’s angry and outraged that Harry’s aired so many embarrassing and damaging assertions,” a source revealed after the book hit shelves. “He has hope that in time the dust will settle and Harry will soften his heart toward his family, at least he hopes so. But he’s not going to push or apologise.”
Here’s some more inside scoop. According to claims made by a royal insider, journalist, and royal biographer Tom Bower, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, may have prevented Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, from attending the coronation of King Charles III on May 6. Bower suggested that Markle may have wanted to be present at the coronation, but Middleton refused to allow her to attend “under any circumstances.”
Furthermore, Bower alleged that Middleton insisted that if Markle did attend, she would have to sit at the back. These claims, if true, could indicate ongoing tensions within the royal family surrounding Markle’s participation in royal events.
Additionally, in his new book Our King, veteran royal correspondent Robert Jobson alleges that Middleton felt uncomfortable during a joint walkabout with Markle following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Jobson claims that there was a sense of “ill feeling” between the two couples.
Royal expert Elloise Parker also believes that Middleton is privately “relieved“ that Markle will not be attending the coronation, as it will reduce the media attention and scrutiny on their already strained relationship.
“There’s such a fever of interest in these relationships and the truth is we’re never going to see a Real Housewives moment between these women,“Parker shared in an interview.
“Everything is going to be kept firmly under wraps and I think for Kate, the fact that Meghan isn’t attending, helps her keep it that way.”