Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Prince Archie and Prince Lilibet are happy living their best lives in sunny California with their parents, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle.

The two young children, who officially received their royal titles just weeks ago, reportedly spend much of their time in their family’s mansion in Montecito, California. Of course, they’re likely oblivious to the fact that there’s plenty of drama going on within the British half of their family. 

After much speculation back and forth, it’s now been confirmed that Harry will indeed attend the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla – Buckingham Palace confirmed the news on Wednesday. However, Meghan will stay home in the US with Archie and Lilibet. That means Charles won’t get to meet his grandchildren, even though it’s been almost a year since he last saw them.

While reports suggest that Archie and Lilibet weren’t invited to the coronation because they are too young, King Charles seems to be wrestling with his emotions regarding the two young children. According to royal expert Robert Jobson’s new book, the monarch is unhappy about the situation as stands. 

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The big coronation day for King Charles and Queen Camilla is just weeks away. Finally, after months of speculation and planning, everything seems to have come together.

The coronation will have around 2,000 guests in attendance; one of the main stories surrounding it has been the presence – or lack thereof – of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The couple famously ripped into the Royal Family through their interview with Oprah Winfrey, their Netflix show launched in December, and, more recently, in Harry’s book, Spare. After all the accusations, it wasn’t considered beyond the realms of possibility that Harry and Meghan wouldn’t be invited to the coronation at all.

Ultimately, however, they were, though their children, Archie and Lilibet, were not.

Prince Harry
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“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,” the Palace said.

Harry to attend King Charles’ coronation despite Royal rift

May 6 is not necessarily a date that Harry and Meghan will most associate with King Charles’ coronation. It’s Archie’s birthday after all, and this year, he turns four.

Naturally, the couple wants their son’s birthday recognized, which reportedly was a demand if they were to attend the coronation.

Following the coronation at Westminster Abbey, senior Royal Family members will travel in procession to Buckingham Palace and wave to the big crowd from the famous balcony. During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year, Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet weren’t on the terrace. According to reports, another demand from the Sussexes was that they be included on the balcony. Whether that will happen for Harry or not is yet to be seen.

Harry was also said to have sought an “apology” from his father, King Charles, and brother, Prince William, before committing to the ceremony in May. However, before publishing his tell-all book Spare, he said in an interview that “the door is always open” for reconciliation.

According to some experts, the return to the UK won’t be easy for Harry.

Christopher Andersen, the author of The King, told Fox News that it will be “a very uncomfortable, highly awkward situation for Harry” because of his revelations in his memoir. As a result, it made sense that Meghan stayed in the US with their children to avoid scrutiny.

Meghan Markle
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“Harry will be cheered, but he will also probably be booed, and he is also likely to feel sidelined and marginalized,” Andersen said.

“But there’s no doubt that this was the right decision. I’m sure King Charles is breathing a sigh of relief. As compromises go, this is a good one.”

Meghan is to stay in the US with Archie and Lilibet

“One has to wonder, however, how Meghan feels about all this. Does she fully support Harry’s decision to go solo, or did she beg him to stay behind with her and the children in Montecito? Was this bone of contention between them? If this was a decision made jointly, then it shows a level of maturity and unity in the marriage that is to be admired,” he added.

Christopher Andersen concluded: “However if Meghan is only reluctantly supporting Harry’s decision or opposes it, you can only imagine what a strain that might put on their marriage going forward.

“My guess is that they both understand this is a do-or-die moment in their relationship with the royal family. I don’t think Charles or [Prince] William would ever forgive Harry if he didn’t show.”

While Andersen claims this was the main reason for Meghan not attending the coronation, royal expert Omid Scobie has cited another, perhaps more reasonable cause.

The author of the biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan say that Archie’s fourth birthday played a significant role in Meghan’s decision to stay in the US.

“I understand that Archie’s fourth birthday (also on May 6) played a factor in the couple’s decision. Expect it to be a fairly quick trip to the UK for Prince Harry, who will only be attending the coronation at Westminster Abbey,” Scobie wrote on Twitter.

Lilibet
Netflix

Only time will tell if King Charles will sit down with his son during his visit to the UK. However, it is clear that he won’t be seeing his two half-American grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet, this time.

Charles has not visited the pair in the US, and it’s been quite a while since they last met.

King Charles’ relationship with Archie and Lilibet

Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet traveled to the UK last year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. During their stay, Lilibet celebrated her first birthday, and Charles was said to be “absolutely thrilled” to see her and her big brother.

At the time, a royal source told BBC that Charles and Lilibet – now a princess – had a “very emotional” first meeting.

“It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,” the source said. “The prince and the duchess were absolutely thrilled to see them. He said it was also ‘very, very special’ for [then-Prince] Charles to spend time with his grandson, Archie, now aged three.”

The source added: “He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”

While there has been speculation that Archie and Lilibet are too young to attend the coronation, King Charles, of course, wants to see his grandchildren. A source told The Sun that the monarch is “happy” that his son, Harry, is attending his big day. Yet at the same time, being unable to see Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet is tough.

“The King is happy that Harry, his son, who he calls his ‘darling boy,’ will be at the Abbey. He wanted him there,” the source told the newspaper. “It is sad, he is very disappointed that he won’t see Meghan or his grandchildren but understands the situation.”

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Archie
Toby Melville – Pool/Getty Images

Any parent or grandparent knows how tough it is to be away from your children or grandchildren, even if it’s just for one day.

King Charles is having a hard time coping with not seeing Archie and Lilibet

In King Charles’ case, he hasn’t seen Archie or Lilibet in almost a year, and it seems like it’s taken a toll on him.

In his new book OUR KING: Charles III: the Man and the Monarch, royal author Robert Jobson describes King Charles’s anguish over Archie and Lilibet, who are sixth and seventh in the line of succession.

Jobson writes that Archie and Lilbet are “always in Charles’ heart”, though the rift between Harry & Meghan and the royals has made things challenging.

“Unfortunately, due to the poor relationship with his second son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Charles has spent hardly any quality time with his other grandchildren, Archie and his sister, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor,” Robert Jobson writes in his book, as quoted by the Mirror.

“But those close to him say they are always in his heart. It is one of the reasons he finds the estrangement from his second son so difficult to cope with.”

Shortly after Archie was born, Charles went to visit him for the first time. Even then, though, Harry and Meghan harbored thoughts of leaving royal life behind – as well as settling in another country.

“A week after Archie was born in May 2019, Charles had gone to see Harry and Meghan at Frogmore Cottage and was thrilled as he cradled the baby boy in his arms,” Jobson explains. “But even then, the Sussexes were planning their escape from the Firm.”

King Charles
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Somewhat surprisingly, Archie and Lilibet were given the royal titles of prince and princess recently. Questions have been posed as to why, but Harry and Meghan have described it as the children’s “birthright”, stating that they should be free to decide for themselves in the future whether or not they want to keep them.

Archie and Lilibet were given royal titles

Of course, there remain critics who argue that Harry and Meghan’s penchant for talking about the royals – for example, their Netflix, Spotify, and book deals – is simply so they can earn money.

Royal expert Sarah Hewson claims that Archie and Lilibet’s new titles might benefit their parents financially. However, that is only speculation.

“You wouldn’t be wrong if you look at this and think about the branding,” she said. 

“When they said they wanted to distance themselves from the family, they wanted to have a private life, when Archie was born, I remember vividly being told they wanted him to be Master Archie, now he is Prince, and Lilibet is Princess,” Hewson added.

Speaking with the Daily Mail, palace insider Richard Eden accused Harry and Meghan of using their children’s royal titles as retaliation against King Charles and Camilla. According to Eden, the timing of the announcement is “revenge.”

“It does strike me as revenge by Harry and Meghan. What we’ve seen is two big developments over the past week. Last week it emerged that they’re being evicted from their only British home, which they described as their forever home at Frogmore Cottage,” Eden said.

“Then we also learned that Camilla’s grandchildren were going to have roles at the coronation. Both things I think will have upset Harry and Meghan. They’ll be thinking, ‘What can we do to have our revenge?’ and that’s making sure that their children can have these two titles.”

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