Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Coronation plans were an “open secret” among their friends in the US, with many knowing Harry would be attending the historic event alone for months, a royal expert has claimed. After weeks of speculation, yesterday Buckingham Palace said it was pleased to announce that Harry will be there to celebrate with his father on May 6, but Meghan will stay in California with their two children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. The RSVP save the date for the historic event passed nine days ago, but there had been no public confirmation of the couple’s decision, leaving planners unable to finalise the arrangements, according to reports. It has been said that Archie’s fourth birthday – which falls on the same day – has been a factor in Meghan’s decision to remain at home, and it is expected that as a result of this, Harry will only make a whistle stop trip to the UK.
But royal expert Camilla Tominey said despite the long wait for the confirmation, the couple’s plan were well known among the their nearest and dearest – with many aware of Meghan’s decision to stay at home before the release of Harry’s controversial memoir, Spare, which caused uproar when it was released back in January.
Writing in The Telegraph, she claimed: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have known for months that this was the way they were going to broach the May 6 ceremony.
“Among their Montecito set, it has been an open secret that Harry was planning to attend without Meghan since Spare hit the bookshelves in January – possibly even earlier.
“The signs were all there, from the Duchess being almost entirely absent from her husband’s book tour to rumours of disgruntlement at Archie and Lilibet’s apparent exclusion from the Coronation procession.”
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The Coronation will be Harry’s first appearance in a public setting with King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Kate since he lambasted them in his book, Spare.
One royal source said the King was “likely to be delighted” that his younger son Harry would attend, saying: “The King has previously spoken of loving both his sons and that remains the case. Harry would have deeply regretted not attending the ceremony.
“Archie’s birthday has provided the perfect excuse for Meghan to stay behind and, with all things considered, it’s probably the right thing to do.”
In response to the major update, ITV News’ royal editor Chris Ship said: “Given everything that has been said/alleged – in six Netflix episodes and one book – this is a big development.
“But Harry coming alone does mean less pressure on the Royal Family – and fewer of those awkward photographs together.”
Harry’s attendance comes despite the rift within the Royal Family sparked by the Duke’s decision to reveal family secrets in his bestselling book.
The revelations, including details of private conversations with his father and brother, Prince William, fanned tensions between Harry and his family that became public when he and his wife moved to America in 2020.
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