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Meghan to miss King's coronation as Harry makes solo trip to see Charles crowned

The Duchess of Sussex will not be at the King's coronation (Ben Stansall/PA)
Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Duke of Sussex is to attend his father the King’s coronation, but the Duchess of Sussex will miss the historic occasion and stay in California with the couple’s children, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Harry, who laid bare his troubled relationship with the royal family in his Netflix documentary and autobiography Spare, will be there to witness Charles and stepmother the Queen Consort being crowned in Westminster Abbey on May 6.

Meghan will not travel to the UK and instead stay in the US with the couple’s children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

The Palace said in a brief statement on Wednesday: “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May.

“The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

The news ends months of “Will they? Won’t they?” speculation about whether the couple would show up to the King’s big day, but will undoubtedly see Meghan accused of snubbing the monarch and the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
The King and the Sussexes with other members of the royal family (Jane Barlow/PA)

May 6 is Archie’s fourth birthday, and the youngster’s celebrations played a part in the duchess’s decision to remain in the US, sources said.

Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s charitable foundation, issued a near identical statement to the Palace confirming the duke will join guests at the coronation.

Harry’s attendance will see him appear in a public setting with Charles, Camilla, his brother the Prince of Wales, sister in law the Princess of Wales and the rest of his family for the first time since he lambasted the royals in his memoirs.

It will also be the first time he has been pictured with the Windsors since the funeral of his grandmother the late Queen.

Harry and Meghan call daughter Princess Lilibet
The Waleses and the Sussexes (Jacob King/PA)

But Harry’s trip to the UK will be brief and he will not be attending any other coronation-related events over the weekend such as the concert in Windsor, sources said.

He is expected to make a quick exit, flying back to the US to be with Meghan and the children, and in particular Archie.

Harry criticised Charles’s parenting, said the King was jealous of Meghan and Kate, and accused William of physically attacking him in his tell-all book, which was published in January.

He also branded Camilla “dangerous” and accused her of sacrificing him on her own “personal PR altar”.

The duke went on to allege it was William and Kate who encouraged him to notoriously dress up as a Nazi at a fancy dress party.

Royal baby
Archie turns four on the day of the coronation (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Harry’s inflammatory claims were seen as damaging his fragile relationship with his brother, a future king, beyond repair, and further troubling his dealings with the King and the rest of the family

In the three years since the Sussexes stepped down as senior working royals, the couple have been critical of the monarchy, telling their story in their Netflix documentary and in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Harry and Meghan were asked earlier this year to vacate their UK home Frogmore Cottage, in a move sanctioned by the King.

It is unclear what the arrangements will be for Harry’s security while he is in London.

The duke is taking legal action against the Home Office over his security arrangements in the UK.

Associated Newspapers privacy case
The Duke of Sussex at the Royal Courts Of Justice, central London, in March (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

It has not been confirmed whether or not Harry will play any particular role in the coronation ceremony, whether he will join the carriage procession or appear on the Palace balcony with the royal family in the celebrations afterwards.

The RSVP save the date deadline last Monday April 3 came and went without public confirmation of the Sussexes’ decision.

But the announcement now means the Earl Marshal and others planning Operation Golden Orb can finalise the seating plans and other travel arrangements, with just over three weeks to go.

King Charles III Coronation
Harry will be among more than 2,000 guests in the Abbey on coronation day (Dan Kitwood/PA)

A weekend of royal festivities is being held including a concert at Windsor Castle and Big Lunch events on the Sunday, and Monday, the bank holiday, has been set aside for volunteering and is being billed as the “Big Help Out”.

The duke has a claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over phone hacking allegations being heard at the High Court, with the trial due to start on May 9 – three days after the coronation.

He is not expected to give evidence in person until early or mid June.

Harry was last seen publicly in the UK at the end of March, when he made a surprise appearance at the High Court, in a separate claim against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers over allegations of unlawful information-gathering.

Diana’s 60th birthday
Harry with his brother William at the unveiling of their mother’s statue (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

But the duke did not meet with his father or brother during his brief stay.

Royal commentator Michael Cole suggested the duchess had decided to “resist the lure of the limelight” to stay at home for Archie’s birthday.

He told GB News that rather than being a snub, it was some “clever boxing” on Meghan’s part.

He added: “The King has played a blinder on this throughout, putting the invitation in their court from the start.

“They had to make up their mind, leaving them open to the charge of hypocrisy if they did come after knocking seven bells out of the royal family for two years.”

Duchess of Sussex supports cookbook
The Duchess of Sussex will not be at the King’s coronation (Ben Stansall/PA)

But political activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted: “How empowering for Meghan Markle to say No to Britain’s most powerful family.

“A family that held her in contempt & constantly fed her to vultures. Any wife with bad in-laws knows she just took back control.

“I’m here for Meghan not giving a damn what anyone thinks #Coronation.”


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