Meghan Markle did not want to “play second fiddle to Kate” and would only have attended the coronation of King Charles III “if assured of a prominent position”, royal experts have claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex will stay in California with her children Archie and Lilibet for the May 6 ceremony – ahead of an expected career boost once her husband Prince Harry returns.
It was confirmed this week that Prince Harry will attend his father’s coronation ceremony alone and is not expected to attend any other weekend event or be part of the coronation procession.
The couple’s friend Omid Scobie was quick to reveal to his followers that one of the main reasons Meghan decided to stay in Los Angeles was because Archie was due to turn four on the same day as the ceremony.
But royal commentators have said they don’t think that’s the case, instead pointing to the long-running feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family.
Observers said the Princess of Wales had ‘made sure’ Meghan would be ‘humiliated’ if she attended the coronation, and suggested Buckingham Palace knew its decisions would ‘deter’ the Duchess from coming.
They also speculated about a career relaunch after the coronation, saying the next steps she takes are “crucial” to her long-term success.
An expert added that King Charles ‘could and should have made sure Harry didn’t come’.
But sources close to the palace said this week the monarch was “happy” with his son’s decision and was sad not to see Meghan or her grandchildren.
It was also revealed this week that Sarah Ferguson, the disgraced Duke of York’s ex-wife and mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, did not receive an invite to the ceremony.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said he believed Meghan “would be there” if she believed the coronation would help her personal brand.
He said: ‘Meghan was invited to the coronation but her decision not to go is clear evidence that she considers herself to be totally estranged from the royal family.
“She has the excuse of Archie’s birthday, but if she thought it would benefit their brand, she would be there.
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“We know Harry will be attending alone, according to Omid Scobie it appears he will only be attending the ceremony and his visit will be fleeting. There doesn’t seem to be much if any chance even for the start of a reconciliation.
Commentator Tom Bower said Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Fergie was not invited to the coronation as she “is not a member of the Royal Family”.
In contrast, he said Kate Middleton “made sure” that Meghan would be “humiliated” if she attended the coronation, and that King Charles should have banned Prince Harry from attending.
He told MailOnline: “Fergie is left out because she’s not a member of the royal family and Charles doesn’t like her.
“By her past conduct, she has permanently excluded herself from public ceremonies, and her presence would provoke critical comments which Charles does not need.
“Meghan is different. Although she was invited, I never thought she would come. She would only come if she was assured of a top position.
“It was deliberately denied him. Meghan was also told she would have to curtsy to the Queen, Kate and Sophie. Everyone at Buckingham Palace knew it was too much for her and that would be another reason to dissuade her from coming.
“In any case, Meghan wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Kate, and Kate made sure that Meghan, if she came, would be humiliated.”
“Meghan does not want to be part of the royal family. She has earned all the benefits of marriage and has never wanted to play a supporting role in the service of the country.
“The guest list at her 2018 wedding showed she still had plans to return to California. Now she wants to take the next step in her adventurous career.
“The question was always whether Harry would come alone. It was uncertain.
“King Charles could and should have made sure Harry didn’t come, but in the end the king agreed to an ugly compromise.
‘Harry will come but will be relatively marginalized. He is fifth in the line of succession and does not want to be deprived of his rights. Nor does he want to completely cut himself off from Britain. So he succumbed.
“Talking about Archie’s birthday is just a smokescreen Sussex to deny the truth: their claims have been turned down.”
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede told MailOnline that Meghan is in the process of parting ways with the Royal Family, for her own benefit, while her husband maintains his relationship by visiting London on the 6th may.
He said: “I think once the coronation is over and the world no longer has its eyes on the King and Prince Harry, Meghan will launch a new initiative.” I suspect she will have been working on new projects that will keep her on her own rather than using Prince Harry.
“I would advise him to let the coronation pass and then start new projects that will earn him money and allow him to put a real stake in the ground and properly establish him as a world star.”
“She must wait a bit!” Otherwise, it will damage it. I think she’s more likely to announce a wellness space like the Tig or a new documentary series.”
Public relations guru Mark Borkowski said Meghan’s next move was crucial as the “truths” of Spare and her husband in the ensuing media blitz damaged her brand and tarnished it too.
He said: “She kept her head down for a while. I suspect this is due to the noise that accompanied Spare, it created debate and huge coverage. I don’t think it did well in America, especially with their fundraisers.
“The Royal Family declined to comment, so it became a one-sided whine and a visceral life story that didn’t resonate well. And they’ve both been challenged by that because they’re on a constant mission to raise money and generate coverage to help his brand.
She has nothing to gain by disrupting the king’s big day. She needs to take a step back. In the PR game, it’s all about choosing your battles and the strategy will be to pass the coronation.
“The fact that she’s not there is a statement that the UK isn’t particularly engaging with her and is like, ‘Poor me.’
“But Meghan and Harry’s story goes well beyond the borders of Britain and the Commonwealth. There will certainly be a revival by Meghan. It is impossible for them to be silent.
“They need royal pomp and ceremony. They might end up becoming an entity like Edward and Mrs. Simpson. Some desperate royals unrelated to the family being in exile. There are parallels there.
“They will be very quick to regenerate interest. But it will be more and more difficult. For many, Spare was a collection of stories that went too far”.
Speculation surrounding Meghan Markle’s career arises after she stepped back from the spotlight following the publication of her husband Spare’s memoir.
The Duchess of Sussex has only been seen in public four times since the Sussexes’ Netflix series launched in December, as experts claimed she had kept her head down to avoid criticism sparked by the book.
In the series, the couple accused members of the royal family of being informed against them, while Prince Harry wrote in Spare that Queen Camilla had “sacrificed” his wife on his “personal PR altar”. .
He also claimed his brother William, now Prince of Wales, physically assaulted him after a feud between his wife and Kate Middleton.
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