Meghan Markle Hopes Her Coronation Decision “Will Be Seen as Unselfish” by King Charles

“It was best to keep the attention on His Majesty.”

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

The verdict is in, and Meghan Markle will not be in attendance at King Charles’ upcoming Coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London. (Husband Prince Harry, however, will be there.) Meghan will stay behind in California to celebrate the fourth birthday of her son, Prince Archie, who will be joined by sister Princess Lilibet at his birthday party in Montecito.

The King is said to be “sad” and “disappointed” that Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet won’t be there, but also seems to understand the rationale. For her part, The Sun reports, Meghan hopes her decision to stay home will be seen as unselfish.

According to a source, “Meghan doesn’t want any more rifts” with other members of the royal family, and a source speaking to GB News (per The Sun) said “She wants her children to know their grandfather, Charles, particularly when they are not going to know their other grandfather [Thomas Markle, who Meghan has been long estranged from]. She does hope they will meet and hopes her decision will be seen as an unselfish one, as it was best to keep the attention on His Majesty.”

Though there has been no total reconciliation, apparently Harry and the King had a heart-to-heart that was meaningful enough for Harry to agree to come to the ceremony. (He’s said to be planning to attend the ceremony and then rush home to attempt to make Archie’s birthday party later that evening.)

“At this point, it’s become so personal,” a close friend tells People. “Maybe what they wanted wasn’t achieved, but, at the end of the day, he’s going there to support his dad.”

Meghan and the King have had a good relationship in the past; he even walked her partway down the aisle at her wedding to Harry in 2018. Of the Coronation, “Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but, at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support,” the close friend tells People. “There’s always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?”

Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith calls Meghan’s choice “an elegant solution,” adding that Archie’s birthday falling on the same day as the Coronation “gave them a reasonable out for Meghan not to come.” A Palace insider tells the outlet “It would have been quite significant if Harry hadn’t attended his father’s Coronation, but I’m not surprised Meghan isn’t going given the circumstances.”

“He [Harry] will look back on it and think it is better to come and play his part and say, ‘I saw my father crowned,’” a source close to the royal household says. “And tell his children about it.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.