Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reportedly Considering Flying Archie and Lilibet Out for Queen’s Funeral

The kids remain behind in California as Harry and Meghan unexpectedly plan to remain in the U.K. until the end of the month.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

In a wild twist of fate, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—residents of California, an ocean away from the U.K., for over two years—happened to be in Harry’s home country when his grandmother, the Queen, passed away on Thursday at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

The Sussexes had traveled sans their children, Archie and Lilibet, the weekend prior for a few days’ worth of engagements with charities close to their hearts. On Monday, the couple traveled to Manchester for the One Young World Summit, before heading to Dusseldorf, Germany on Tuesday for the Invictus Games 2023 kickoff. On Thursday, Harry and Meghan were due at the WellChild Awards in London before cancelling as Her Majesty’s health rapidly declined and, ultimately, her passing that afternoon at age 96.

The couple is now planning to remain in the U.K. not just through the Queen’s funeral, which will be held on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey in London, but all the way through the seven-day mourning period after the funeral, putting their arrival back in the U.S. towards the end of the month. (This extended stay in the U.K. includes what is sure to be a muted celebration of Harry’s thirty-eighth birthday on September 15, one week exactly after Her Majesty’s death.)

According to The Sun, that might be too much time apart from their little ones, and they might fly Archie, 3, and Lili, 1, out for the funeral.

“The Sussexes are said to be trying to decide whether Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland should fly out with the kids at some point next week, a source told The Telegraph,” The Sun reports. “Doria is looking after Archie and Lilibet at their Montecito mansion, it is understood. The family have already spent more than a week apart, and the state funeral isn’t for another eight days. Meghan and Harry will then stick around until the end of the royal mourning period, which ends seven days after the service. The pair had only expected to be away from home for seven days for their mini-European tour.”

Archie, who was born in the U.K. in May 2019, met Her Majesty soon after his birth. Lilibet, who is named after the Queen’s familial nickname, met her great-grandmother this past June—right at her first birthday—when the family of four flew to the U.K. to take part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations surrounding the Queen’s historic 70-year reign.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.