It was no doubt a difficult decision, but, a royal expert says, the right one: Prince Harry will attend his father King Charles’ Coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London, while wife Meghan Markle will stay behind in California. (The couple’s children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, will stay with Meghan; Archie’s fourth birthday is, coincidentally, also May 6.)
“I think Meghan not attending is a huge relief for everybody involved,” said Nick Bullen, the editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, speaking to Us Weekly. “She knows that if she turns up, the story will become about her. All cameras will be trained on her to see, you know, ‘How does she look? Is there a nervousness in her eyes?’ All those things.”
Bullen added that attendees would have focused on how Meghan interacted with members of the royal family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales. (They’ll no doubt be doing the same for Harry.)
“Then [the would be] shots of, ‘Does she give side eye to Kate or does Kate give side eye to her?’” Bullen said. “Everything will be about, ‘What was the relationship with Meghan being there?’ We’ll get some of that with Harry, but it would be even bigger if Meghan had been there. So if you are being positive about Meghan, she’s done the right thing by not making herself the story.”
A source told Us Weekly “As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the Coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world. Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first. 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. But being the same day as Archie’s birthday, unfortunately, she’s just going to have to miss out on this one.”
As for Harry, “I think he’ll be nervous about how the family [will] react to him, and I think it’s pretty clear that he’s going to minimize the amount of time that he’s in London,” Bullen said. “He’s already said that he wants to be back for Archie’s birthday that afternoon, that evening. It will be very much of a fly-in visit. Harry isn’t part of the procession or the balcony appearance.”
And after the Coronation? Bullen said that after the release of Harry & Meghan and Spare, the Sussexes are “struggling” with what to do next. “I think there’s an awful lot of questions in that Sussex camp about what’s the next play,” he said.
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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.
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