Here's why Meghan Markle may not attend the Queen's funeral scheduled for Sep 19
It may 'not be possible for her to stay the whole time,' says one royal expert
WINDSOR, ENGLAND: The Duchess of Sussex may not turn up for the funeral of her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. According to Fox News Digital, royal expert and former British public affairs official Shannon Felton Spence has revealed that Meghan Markle may be absent during the funeral service which is scheduled to take place on Monday, September 19, at 11 am at the Westminster Abbey.
Prince Harry and Meghan were already in the UK when the Queen died and Harry rushed to be with the rest of his family at Balmoral Castle. Now, the royal expert believes that Markle may return to California ahead of the funeral to be with their children, Archie, 3 and Lilibet, 1. "Harry will likely stay in the UK until the funeral. I can’t imagine Meghan won’t attend, but again from a human perspective, Meghan was expecting to leave the kids for six days, not weeks, so [it] may not be possible for her to stay the whole time," said Spence.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the UK and moved to California after stepping down from their royal duties. Their statements against the royal family, heightened after their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, widened the rift between the royals at Windsor and the Sussexes. The duo were on a trip to Germany and the UK for several engagements, including the WellChild Awards in London on the night of the Queen's demise.
With the Queen's health deteriorating, members of the royal family rushed to her side. Prince Harry, too, hurried to Scotland, arriving at the Balmoral castle merely 20 minutes after the news of the Queen's death had been released to the public. According to royal expert Spence, the fact that Harry arrived separately speaks volumes of the tensions between the Sussexes and other members of the family. "I think it is telling Harry was in a different car, so by the optics — Harry arriving and leaving alone — tells you what the relationship and tone was like between families," she said, adding that Harry was also the first to leave the castle.
All this while, Meghan remained at Frogmore Cottage, their residence at Windsor. Kate Middleton, too, did not accompany her husband and stayed behind, a few hundred feet away at the Adelaide Cottage in Windsor with her children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
Now, with the Queen's funeral scheduled on September 19, odds are that the Duchess of Sussex will return to be with her young children. Meanwhile, the royal family will also be keen to "play down the ‘feud’ narrative, given their more pressing new issues, processing the enormity of the death of the Queen and the intense scrutiny faced by King Charles as he settles into his new role," according to Eloise Parker speaking to Fox New Digital. The feud between the two brothers was even more evident given the fact the two were "historically such a tight unit" and would have certainly "arrived or left together" a decade ago.
An olive branch for the Sussexes?
Referencing the King's first address as a monarch, royal expert Parker said, "King Charles went out of his way to voice his ‘love for Harry and Meghan as they build their lives overseas.' It was a touching way to acknowledge acceptance of his son's new life path whilst making clear his continued support as a father." This has opened up the way for Harry and Meghan to attend the Queen's funeral, but there is "no expectation that their very young children will attend."
Meghan hasn't yet left for the US and was seen on a walkabout in Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Harry, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton. This was their first public appearance together after the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in 2020.