Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be at Trooping the Colour – and for many royal experts, it’s better this way.
On Thursday, People magazine reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex haven’t been invited to the annual celebration of the British monarch’s birthday. This year’s event, happening on Saturday, will mark the first time it has taken place during the reign of Harry’s father, King Charles III.
Reps for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as Buckingham Palace, didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. The outlet noted that their offices had no comment.
“Now that they are no longer working royals, neither Harry nor Megan – nor Prince Andrew for that matter – are welcome on the Buckingham Palace balcony,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital. “Harry isn’t about to show up just so he can be humiliated one more time. What’s the point of that?”
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“King Charles will surround himself with those people he feels he can trust and rely on to do the heavy lifting: Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, and, of course, the real stars of the show these days, Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children,” he said. “I think there will be a lot of gasps when the kids step out and people see just how much Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have grown.”
“It’s sad that their cousins, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, won’t be there,” Andersen continued. “But by not even inviting the Sussexes to attend one of the most important events on the royal calendar – and, in this case, particularly important because it is to salute the new monarch – Charles has once again made it clear that he is not particularly eager to mend fences with his younger son.”
Members of the royal family will gather for the special occasion. The Sussexes made a brief appearance as non-working royals in 2022’s Trooping the Colour, which was also the late Queen Elizabeth’s final event before her death on Sept. 8. They were spotted watching from a room above Horse Guards Parade along with other members of the royal family.
“It must have been particularly painful not to be included in his grandmother’s last appearance on the balcony – something he had, until that moment, done throughout his life,” Andersen said.
The couple stepped back as senior royal members in 2020. They now live in California with their two young children.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Fox News Digital that there was no need to invite the couple after their explosive tell-alls. The pair sat for a two-hour TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, launched a six-part Netflix series about their life together in late 2022, and Harry released his best-selling memoir “Spare” in January.
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Last week, Harry was back at London’s High Court. The 38-year-old is suing the publisher of the Daily Mirror for allegedly using unlawful techniques “on an industrial scale” to score front-page scoops on his life. The case against Mirror Group is the first of the prince’s several lawsuits against the media to go to trial. It is one of three publishers he alleged unlawfully snooped on him for stories about the royal family.
It is believed Harry stayed at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s former U.K. home. In March, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed that they were asked to vacate the residence.
“The reports that Harry was not invited to Trooping the Colour make total sense,” Fitzwilliams said. “His estrangement with his family seems total. The Sussexes have, as the palace sees it, gone rogue. The Sussexes attended last year but only because it was one of the celebrations of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and they were hardly visible. A litany of recent attacks, including those in Harry’s memoir ‘Spare’ and the interviews surrounding it most recently, have underlined the rift, as his brief appearance at the coronation also did.”
Harry attended his father’s coronation on May 6. However, he traveled to the airport just hours after the ceremony and immediately headed back to the States. The transatlantic trip is a journey of more than 5,400 miles, or about an 11-hour nonstop flight. It is believed he made it back to California in time for his son’s fourth birthday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were last seen together with the rest of the royal family for the queen’s state funeral.
This year’s parade will highlight hundreds of troops of the British Army, of which Harry is a decorated veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan during his decade-long military career, the outlet noted. There will also be a flyby conducted by the Royal Air Force.
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“It is my understanding that Harry’s presence at Trooping of the Colour would be an unnecessary distraction and would make certain members of the royal family uncomfortable,” Kinsey Schofield, host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, told Fox News Digital.
“I think it’s OK for him to sit this one out,” she said. “The last time he attended with his wife, they felt so excluded that they decided not to participate in all the queen’s Platinum Jubilee events that they were invited to.”
“… When it comes to the royal family, Harry is now considered a civilian, and we will only see him included in a formal way for funerals,” she said. “Harry’s presence is not necessary and, quite frankly, not necessarily encouraged while he continues down his destructive path.”
“Most recently, he went head-to-head in court with Mirror Group, and through his testimony … he lifted the lid on royal life and the royal family’s relationship with the media,” she continued. “I’m sure that left many members of his family frustrated. And while there to provide courtroom testimony … Harry did not bother to try to meet with Prince William, who lives within walking distance to where Harry was staying.”
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“Harry is not an integral part of anything they do today nor tomorrow,” chimed British royals expert Hilary Fordwich.
Helena Chard, royal photographer and royal broadcaster, told Fox News Digital that despite the lack of an invitation, Harry should find a way to return to the fold for his father’s sake.
“I realize Prince Harry is no longer a working royal, but he is fifth in line to the throne and, of course, he should make the effort to attend this iconic occasion,” she explained. “If he can travel backward and forwards to the U.K. for a court fight with British tabloids, he can show his face at Trooping the Colour.”
“I imagine … certain royals are furious with him, and he is apprehensive about how he will be received,” she said.
Markle, 41, has also been keeping a low profile. In May, a rep for the couple said they had been pursued by photographers in a “near catastrophic car chase” through the streets of New York City. The duke and duchess, along with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, were in Manhattan for the Ms. Foundation Awards.
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Photographers who were involved confirmed they followed the couple for miles over an extended period but described it as a low-speed affair. A photo agency later contended it was Harry and Meghan’s security guards who acted recklessly.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams condemned the paparazzi chasing them as “reckless and irresponsible.” Police said the pursuit was relatively short and led to no injuries, collisions or arrests and warranted no further investigation. The cab driver who drove them from the police station said he instantly recognized his passengers and that paparazzi “were following us the whole time,” though he said wouldn’t call it a chase.
The couple will likely spend Saturday in their Montecito, California, home with their children, People magazine reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.