Sitting this one out. Meghan Markle won’t be attending King Charles III‘s coronation with Prince Harry next month — and her reason for skipping the ceremony has to do with her children.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world,” an insider exclusively tells Us Weekly of the former actress, 41, who shares son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 22 months, with Harry, 38. “Despite being the Duchess of SusS.e.x, Meghan is a mom first.”
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The date of the coronation — Saturday, May 6 — happens to coincide with Archie’s 4th birthday. It’s not clear what kind of plans the Suits alum has made for her eldest child’s celebration, but the sources says she didn’t want to spend it away from her son.
“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 insider adds. “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 Wednesday, April 12, that the Invictus Games founder would return to the U.K. for the festivities without his wife. “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of SusS.e.x will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th,” read a statement. “The Duchess of SusS.e.x will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”
Last month, Us confirmed that the Duke of SusS.e.x had been sent an invitation to the event, but at the time it wasn’t clear 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,” the former helicopter pilot 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.”
An insider told Us that Charles, 74, 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.”
Tension between the SusS.e.xes and the royal family has been high since Harry and Meghan announced their plans to step down as senior working royals in January 2020. One year later, the pair opened up about why they left in a bombshell interview with CBS, during which they accused unnamed members of the royal family of racism.
The pair have returned to the U.K. several times since then, but the drama escalated again in January when Harry released his memoir, Spare. The book contained tons of headline-making allegations about his father and his brother, Prince William.
“Charles is distraught. He’s angry and outraged that Harry’s aired so many embarrassing and damaging assertions,” an insider told Us 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 apologize.”