“I think he’ll be nervous about how the family [will] react to him, and I think it’s pretty clear that he’s gonna minimize the amount of time that he’s in London,” Nick Bullen, the editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, tells Us. “He’s already said that he wants to be back for Archie’s birthday that afternoon, that evening.”
Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke of Sussex, 38, will be traveling to the U.K. for his father’s coronation while his wife, Meghan Markle, stays home in California with their children, Prince Archie, 3, and Princess Lilibet, 22 months. Archie will turn 4 on Saturday, May 6, the day Charles is crowned king.
“It will be very much of a fly-in visit,” Mullen adds. “Harry isn’t part of the procession or the balcony appearance,” which is typically limited to working royals, the expert notes.
The Sussexes have been estranged from The Firm since stepping down from their roles as senior royals in January 2020. Tensions between the Sussexes and Harry’s relatives have only increased since the Archewell cofounders began speaking out about their experiences as royals after leaving the U.K. for California in March 2020.
In addition to their 2021 sit-down on CBS and their December 2022 Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, the prince released his debut memoir, Spare, in January — a tell-all with many allegations against his brother, Prince William, and their father. Among the accusations are claims that the monarch’s team leaked unfavorable stories about his sons, William allegedly got into a physical fight with Harry and tension between Meghan and Princess Kate.
Amid all of the tension, Charles, 74, “was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between [him and Meghan],” a source exclusively told Us earlier this month, revealing that the king — who ascended the throne upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022 — was “sad” that his daughter-in-law wasn’t attending the celebration.
The Suits alum, for her part, is focusing on making the day all about Archie.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world. Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first,” a second insider shared. “She feels very grateful to be included in such a special occasion by the royal family and is glad that Harry can go and show support on behalf of their family. But being the same day as Archie’s birthday, unfortunately, she’s just going to have to miss out on this one.”
As for how the family will celebrate while Harry is in London, “Meghan is planning something really low-key,” a third source told Us. “Since Harry won’t be able to attend, she just wants to do something intimate with family and a few very close friends.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi