Sussexes unlikely to mark royal event as ‘Commonwealth not priority’

CBS News: Harry and Meghan invited to King’s coronation

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “unpredictable” nature and complicated relationship with the Commonwealth has left commentators pondering whether they will mark Commonwealth Day in the US. The service at Westminster Abbey is an important annual event in the royal calendar, and while the Sussexes once held prominent positions with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust they appeared to criticise the institution with their recent spate of public appearances, such as their Netflix docu-series and Harry’s memoir Spare.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told that before stepping down as working royals Harry and Meghan were seen as having “enormous appeal” in the Commonwealth as the “contemporary face of the Royal Family”.

However, he pointed out that in their six-episode documentary series, their views on the network of nations came across as far more negative.

He said: “The talking heads they chose in their six-hour Netflix docuseries which aired in December, attacked the Commonwealth as a commercial extension of British imperialism.

“Since it was an institution the Queen had specially nurtured, this was especially unfortunate so soon after her demise.

“It was also nonsense as it is composed of sovereign independent states and recently, Togo and Gabon, who had no colonial connection with Britain, have recently joined it.”

He added that although Harry and Meghan “resented” losing their patronages, “it certainly appears the Commonwealth is not on their priority list”.

The late Queen appointed Harry and Meghan as President and Vice-President of her Commonwealth Trust, with Her Majesty dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s legacy throughout her reign.

Harry and Meghan’s last public appearance as senior working royals was at the Commonwealth Day service in 2020, when tensions between them and Prince William and Kate were stirring.

The next big event on the royal calendar is the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in May, with Harry and Meghan confirmed as being on the guest list.

It is not yet known if they will accept the invitation, however, the palace is said to be prepping for their arrival.

In spite of losing their tenancy on Frogmore Cottage, it is thought the couple will still be able to stay there if they do come to the UK.

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