Why wasn't Meghan at King Charles's coronation?

Meghan Markle looks at Prince Harry
Meghan Markle didn't attend King Charles's coronation. (Getty Images)

King Charles III's coronation featured over 2,000 guests, but there was one key family member missing: his daughter-in-law Meghan Markle.

While Prince Harry attended his father’s coronation, it was announced in April that the Duchess of Sussex would remain behind in California with their children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, one.

“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read in April.

Read more: How fans and critics have reacted to Harry attending Charles's coronation without Meghan

As the coronation fell on Archie’s fourth birthday, it is believed that this was a driving factor behind Meghan’s decision to stay in California.

Responses to Meghan's coronation absence

Following the announcement that Meghan would stay in California, former editor of The Sun newspaper, Kelvin Mackenzie, told GB News that he thought it was a "wise decision".

"There's a real sense of angst against both of them and they've solved it. [Harry] has to turn up, he has to turn up to his dad's coronation," he said.

The Duchess of Sussex talks with Prince Charles at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth day service.
Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, with old ties and new links enabling cooperation towards social, political and economic development which is both inclusive and sustainable. The Commonwealth represents a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population, of whom 60 percent are under 30 years old.
Each year the Commonwealth adopts a theme upon which the Service is based. This year’s theme ‘A Connected Commonwealth’ speaks of the practical value and global engagement made possible as a result of cooperation between the culturally diverse and widely dispersed family of nations, who work together in friendship and goodwill.
The Commonwealth’s governments, institutions and people connect at many levels, including through parliaments and universities. They work together to protect the natural environment and the ocean which connects many Commonwealth nations, shore to shore. Cooperation on trade encourages inclusive economic empowerment for all people - particularly women, youth and marginalised communities. The Commonwealth’s friendly sporting rivalry encourages people to participate in sport for development and peace.
Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and King Charles, on Commonwealth Day 2019. (Getty Images)

Both Harry and Meghan were invited to the coronation, their representative confirmed in early March.

"Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support," a friend of Meghan’s anonymously told People magazine.

"There's always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position? At this point, it's become so personal. Maybe what they wanted wasn't achieved, but at the end of the day, he's going there to support his dad."

Read more: Take our Harry and Meghan relationship quiz

It comes after Meghan and Harry made some explosive claims about the royal family, both in their Netflix special, Harry & Meghan, and Harry’s memoir Spare, published in January this year.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The coronation falls on Prince Archie's birthday, May 6. (Getty Images)

In Harry’s memoir, he wrote of Queen Camilla: "I didn't relish losing a second parent, and I had complex feelings about gaining a stepparent, who I thought had recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar."

Harry also claimed that Camilla had leaked stories about himself and his brother, Prince William, to the press.

Read more: King's coronation: Why is the sovereign's ring called 'the wedding ring of England'?

In an interview with the Sunday Times in April, Camilla’s friend Lady Lansdowne said: "Of course [what Harry wrote] bothers her, of course it hurts. But she doesn’t let it get to her. Her philosophy is always, 'Don’t make a thing of it and it will settle down – least said, soonest mended."

Watch: Future of the Monarchy: Why Charles is underestimating the danger posed by his own family dramas?