The Awkward Reason Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Never Going to Attend This Year's Trooping the Colour

Harry was in the U.K. last month, but didn't see his father King Charles even then.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal watchers had a happy surprise at this year's Trooping the Colour: Princess Kate made her first public appearance of the year, after months of recovery following a cancer diagnosis. "I am not out of the woods yet," she explained in a statement prior to her appearance, noting that she was "taking each day as it comes." But those familiar with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's past appearances at Trooping the Colour—they attended in 2018, 2019, and 2022—may have wondered: Why weren't the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Trooping the Colour 2024?

The answer is simple: They weren't invited. Per People, who confirmed the news in early June, Meghan and Harry were once again not invited to the event. They had also been left off the guest list the year before, which marked King Charles' first Trooping the Colour.

princess charlotte and princess kate on the balcony of buckingham palace for trooping the color in matching outfits

The Cambridge family at Trooping the Colour this year.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Trooping the Colour in 2019.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As MC's senior editor Rachel Burchfield notes, "Even though they had stepped back as working members of the royal family, Her late Majesty did invite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Trooping the Colour in 2022." That event would ultimately be the late Queen's last Trooping the Colour.

Relations between the Sussexes and the senior royal family have been strained in recent years, with Prince Harry not seeing his father King Charles when Harry was in the U.K. last month. "It unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program," said a spokesperson for the Sussexes. "The duke of course is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

Prior to that, Harry had last seen his father in February, when he flew to the U.K. after learning of his father's cancer diagnosis. The visit was short—father and son reportedly only spent 30 minutes together.

Jenny Hollander
Digital Director

Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. A graduate of Leeds University, and a native of London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the first intern at Bustle when it launched in 2013, and spent five years building out its news and politics department. In 2018 she joined Marie Claire, where she held the roles of Deputy Digital Editor and Director of Content Strategy before becoming Digital Director. Working closely with Marie Claire's exceptional editorial, audience, commercial, and e-commerce teams, Jenny oversees the brand's digital arm, with an emphasis on driving readership. When she isn't editing or knee-deep in Google Analytics, you can find Jenny writing about television, celebrities, her lifelong hate of umbrellas, or (most likely) her dog, Captain. In her spare time, she also writes fiction: her first novel, the thriller EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, was published with Minotaur Books (UK) and Little, Brown (US) in February 2024 and became a USA Today bestseller. She has also written extensively about developmental coordination disorder, or dyspraxia, which she was diagnosed with when she was nine. She is currently working on her second novel.