Why Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Archie, and Lili Aren’t at Trooping the Colour 2024

The second Trooping the Colour under King Charles III’s reign took place today, and there was no surprise royal family reunion with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex despite Kate Middleton’s big appearance there.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, were not in the U.K. for the monarch’s annual birthday parade on June 15. No photos of them emerged there, and there’s a good reason why—that comes from the royal family this time. They didn’t even invite Meghan and Harry to join.

People confirmed on June 4 that for the second year in a row, the couple did not receive an invitation from Harry’s family for Trooping the Colour. The couple will likely spend the day as they do most: living privately in Montecito, California, out of the public eye.

prince harry and meghan markle at trooping the colour 2018
Meghan and Harry at Trooping the Colour in 2018. Their last time attending would be a year later.Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Meghan and Harry’s relationship with the royal family has been publicly strained since the couple stepped back from their working senior royal family member roles in 2020. Harry didn’t even see his father, Charles, when he was in the U.K. this May.

Harry and Meghan’s rep made a rare statement at the time, explaining why. The spokesperson said, “In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the duke will meet with his father while in the U.K. this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program. The duke of course is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

Harry last saw Charles briefly in February after the monarch shared his cancer diagnosis.

Meghan has not been at a royal family event since the Queen’s funeral. Royal reporter Omid Scobie explained to ELLE.com in November that Meghan isn’t likely to reconcile with the royals, even in the unlikely case of Harry and his brother, Prince William, fixing their estranged relationship someday soon.

“We’ve seen her in the last year really establish herself as an independent individual that is not riding on the coattails of her royal past or really even interested in being involved in that world,” Scobie said. “I know her team spoke about [how] she wasn’t coming over for [Charles’] coronation because of Archie’s birthday, but I also know from speaking with people that there was also a desire to stay away from the noise and hysteria that comes any time she sets foot near the country, let alone the family. And the way they were treated during the time of the Queen’s death and the funeral really reinforced for her that she had not only made the right decision, but didn’t want to go anywhere near [it] again.

“They said it loud and clear that they were looking for conversations and accountability and for people to own their roles and everything that had happened, and no one has so there is no reason for anything to change moving forward. One could argue the balls are all in the royal family’s court, and we know that they’re not hitting them back anytime soon.”

This post was updated on June 15 after Trooping the Colour began to confirm their total absence.

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