Royal Expert Speculates Reason Meghan Markle Will Skip King Charles' Coronation

After weeks of speculation over whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would attend King Charles III's coronation, the Palace has finally released a statement. It read: "Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet" (via Express).

People has reported that Prince Harry will not be attending any other commitments outside of the coronation at Westminster Abbey, and royal expert Omid Scobie speculates the King's youngest son will only be in England for a short time. The ceremony will mark the first time Harry is publicly seen with the royal family since attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in 2022.

According to Harper's Bazaar, one of the reasons Meghan has decided to stay behind while Harry attends the historic event is because it falls on the same day as their son Archie's fourth birthday. She will reportedly remain in California over the weekend, celebrating with Archie and daughter Lilibet.

Meghan could be staying behind for self-preservation

Another royal expert, Kinsey Schofield, speculates that Meghan Markle might be opting to miss the coronation as an act of self-preservation. Schofield tells Express, "I don't believe she would be positively received at the coronation, but Harry without Meghan could garner a less offensive response." Meanwhile, Harry's attendance is critical to keeping ties with his family and preserving the royal's brand and image. Many believe Harry's reputation and stature rely heavily on his relationship with the monarchy, prompting him to attend this important event.

It's no secret that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had a tumultuous and shaky relationship with the royal family since they stepped back from their official roles in January 2020 and relocated to the U.S. Tensions grew even higher when Harry made startling revelations in his memoir, "Spare," which hit shelves on January 2023 and further strained the couple's relationship with the monarchy. There has also been speculation that a lack of security impacted Meghan's decision to stay behind.

Security concerns could be behind Meghan's decision

Since stepping back from their royal duties and roles, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been left with concerns over their safety while visiting London, England. Harry and Meghan's security battle with UK police keeps getting messier with no resolution in sight. The prince is reportedly willing to pay for his own royal protection officers when he and his family visit the UK, but so far, his requests have been denied (via Elle).

The couple has reportedly received threats since their departure from the monarchy, resulting in uncertainty about their safety. Harry has expressed wanting to visit the UK with his son Prince Archie and daughter Princess Lilibet but fears it is too dangerous for his family to return to his home country (via CNN).

A statement made in 2021 by Harry's legal team read, "The UK will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in. With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes that his petition — after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK — will resolve this situation." Despite his concerns, Prince Harry will be making the trip overseas for his father's coronation ceremony — solo.

Meghan's absence could spark more tension within the royal family

Some believe that Meghan's choice to skip out on the event could further damage her relationship with the monarchy. Chad Teixeira, a PR expert, tells The Mirror, "Meghan's choice to skip the Coronation could be seen as her pushing herself and Harry even further from the Royal Family, cranking up the heat between them." Though some people were hoping for both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to make an appearance at the ceremony, many speculate that Meghan will not be missed by the public or the royal family. 

However, others believe Harry's presence alone might be enough to begin easing some of the family tension. Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Express, "It's what King Charles would have wanted — to have both his sons there. Let's hope in some way this will lead to some form of the bridge of the huge divide that has opened up [between the Sussexes and Royal Family]."