After tons of speculation about whether or not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will respond to King Charles III’s invitation to attend his coronation, it looks like we finally have an answer. The palace confirmed that the Duke of Sussex will be at the crowning ceremony of King Charles and Queen Camilla, but Meghan Markle is staying home in favor of another very special occasion.
“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abey on May 6th. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” the palace said in a statement.
The coronation is taking place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London — which just so happens to be Prince Archie’s 4th birthday. So Markle will stay in California to celebrate the special day with her and Prince Harry’s son, and their daughter Princess Lilibet, 22 months. We can’t blame her! As a mom of littles myself, I know how important birthday parties are to kids. It’s a way of showing how she prioritizes her own family and is making her preschooler’s birthday extra special by staying behind to be with him.
It must have been a challenging decision to Prince Harry, but ultimately, he decided to attend his father’s coronation. A source told PEOPLE that Harry “wanted to be at the service to support his father at this important moment in his life.” Although, he is not expected to attend the other events that are planned outside the official crowning ceremony. (Maybe he’ll stay in to video chat with his family back home in California!)
It is unclear if Prince Harry will be invited to stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation as is tradition. A royal insider shared with the Mirror earlier this month, “There is little room for sentiment, this is a State occasion, not a family occasion and it is right that only the working members of the family are there at the big public moment.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have not been working members of the royal family since they stepped down in 2020, so chances are, he will not stand on the balcony with the rest of the family. King Charles will likely stand with Queen Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton, their kids Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4. Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie, Princess Anne, and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also be there as well as retiring working royals, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
In addition, Prince George will have a special role in the coronation, serving as Page of Honor alongside Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Nicholas Barclay, and Ralph Tollemache. They will attend to Charles throughout the coronation and join in the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey.
It’s difficult to juggle conflicting family responsibilities with your partner (even if one of you doesn’t have royal relatives), but it seems like Markle and Prince Harry made the best decision for them. Hopefully she’ll release new birthday pictures of Prince Archie on his special day!
Before you go, check out all the times Meghan Markle has gotten candid about the joys and challenges of being a mom.
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