Meghan Markle has broken cover for the first time since it emerged she will not attend King Charles’ Coronation with her husband Prince Harry.
In a videolink, the Duchess of Sussex can be seen introducing her photographer friend Misan Harriman’s Ted Talk after her PR team last night insisted she had ‘moved on’ from a race row which was reported to be partly behind her decision to skip the historic event.
On Friday, it was reported that Meghan wrote to King Charles about ‘unconscious bias’ in the Royal Family following claims in the Sussexes’ bombshell Oprah interview in 2019 that a senior royal had ‘concerns’ about how ‘dark’ their son Archie’s skin would be.
In the letter, believed to be in response to one from Charles, she reportedly named the individual accused of speculating about her unborn son’s skin colour.
But a source told the Daily Telegraph that the duchess will not attend the Coronation on May 6 with her husband Harry because she received a unsatisfactory response from Charles regarding her concerns. The royal insider said that while the exchange was warm in tone, it had not eased the tension between the Windsors and Sussexes.
Yesterday, Meghan’s spokesman released a rare statement following reports that she is dodging the Coronation because of the letters and the race row.
In a statement to US magazine Harper’s Bazaar, press secretary Ashley Hansen insisted: ‘The Duchess of Sussex is going about her life in the present, not thinking about correspondence from two years ago related to conversations from four years ago.
‘Any suggestion otherwise is false and frankly ridiculous. We encourage tabloid media and various royal correspondents to stop the exhausting circus that they alone are creating.’
And today, in a post on Instagram, the beaming duchess can be seen introducing her photographer friend’s Ted Talk event. Mr Harriman said: ‘The Duchess of Sussex was kind enough to introduce me on to the stage for my @ted. Thank you for the support, Meg.’
Today, Meghan’s photographer friend Misan Harriman posted: ‘The Duchess of Sussex was kind enough to introduce me on to the stage for my @ted. Thank you for the support, Meg’
Meghan breaks cover to introduce her photographer friend Misan Harriman’s Ted Talk
The Duchess of Sussex has denied reports about not attending the King’s coronation because of a letter she sent expressing concern over unconscious bias in the royal family
Meghan Markle wrote to King Charles about unconscious bias in the Royal family after her bombshell Oprah interview, it was claimed (the Duchess of Sussex is pictured with King Charles , Harry and William in March 2019 at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey)
It is understood that it was sent in reply to one from the King – the only senior member of the family to make contact with the Duchess after Meghan and Harry were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 (pictured)
The Duchess of Sussex’s letter reportedly named the individual accused of speculating about her unborn son Archie’s skin colour – but went on to claim the person wasn’t racist (pictured with Prince Archie in Cape Town in September 2019 while touring South Africa)
Omid Scobie, the Sussexes’ preferred royal reporter, was the first to post the statement.
Earlier reports said that Buckingham Palace is also aware of the Sussexes’ frustration that initial correspondence about the Coronation made no reference to their children.
Harry will attend the celebration on May 6 alone, while Meghan looks after Prince Archie on his fourth birthday and Princess Lilibet in California.
The Duke of Sussex’s relationship with his family has been poor since Megxit, and worse following the Oprah interview where the Queen famously declared that ‘recollections may vary’ after their claims of royal racism and Meghan’s allegation that The Firm failed to care for her when she was pregnant with Archie and felt suicidal.
Relations have continued to sour after the Sussexes starred in a six-part Netflix docu-series and the publication of the Harry’s revealing memoir, Spare.
Charles, who at the time was Prince of Wales, is said to be disappointed that Meghan and Harry felt the need to make such damaging allegations public. He recently gave backing to a research project into the monarch’s historical links to the transatlantic slave trade, having previously expressed ‘personal sorrow’.
Prince Harry has touched on unconscious bias in the past. In January this year, he spoke to Tom Bradby on ITV to promote his memoir, Spare.
The presenter, also a friend of the Duke, said ‘in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism’, Harry responded by saying ‘no I didn’t’, adding ‘the British press said that’.
After Bradby said the duchess claimed troubling comments were made about Archie’s skin colour, Harry said: ‘There was – there was concern about his skin colour.’
Asked if he would describe that as racist, the duke said: ‘I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.’ He continued: ‘The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different.’
Meghan said the comment over Archie’s skin was not made with malice. But a source told the Daily Telegraph that the Duchess will not attend the Coronation on May 6 because she received an unsatisfactory response from the King (pictured with the King and Queen Consort in Mary 2018)
Buckingham Palace is also aware of the Sussexes’ frustration that initial correspondence about the Coronation made no reference to their children
‘But once it’s been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.’
It has also been reported that Prince Harry was ‘desperate’ to be at the Coronation to publicly support his father because he is ‘homesick’.
The Sun also reported on Friday that despite the Duke having made repeated attempts to contact the King to discuss the plans during his time back in London, his father has only been able to pencil in time for one conversation.
It is understood that Harry was ‘missing aspects of British life’ and ‘may start spending more time’ in the UK.
A source told the publication: ‘Harry was desperate to come back for the Coronation and spend quality time with his family.’
It was revealed by Buckingham Palace on April 14 that Prince Harry is to attend the King’s Coronation service in London next month alone, with the Duchess of Sussex remaining in California with their children.
But the Duchess will stay home at the couple’s residence in Montecito with one-year-old Lilibet and Archie, whose fourth birthday is on the same day as the ceremony.
The couple’s friend Omid Scobie confirmed Archie’s birthday ‘played a factor in the couple’s decision’ and he expected it would be a ‘fairly quick trip to the UK’ for Harry. The Duke will only attend the ceremony itself, which is likely to last a few hours.
The announcement came just over three weeks until the event, and a royal observer told MailOnline: ‘Charles will be pleased. The rest of the family will be relieved that Meghan won’t be there – it would have been particularly uncomfortable for Kate.’
Harry and Meghan had delayed their decision over whether they would fly in for the ceremony, despite the RSVP date of April 3 having passed.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement: ‘Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.’
Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s charitable foundation, then issued a near identical statement to the Press Association news agency confirming the Duke will attend.
A spokesman said: ‘The Duke of Sussex will attend the coronation service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.’
Charles will be crowned in a ceremony full of pomp, pageantry and traditions that date back 1,000 years, following the 70-year reign of his mother Queen Elizabeth II who died last September.
Mr Scobie, who is a trusted contact of the Sussexes, tweeted the news of Harry’s forthcoming attendance and then added: ‘I understand that Archie’s fourth birthday (also on May 6) played a factor in the couple’s decision.
‘Expect it to be a fairly quick trip to the UK for Prince Harry, who will only be attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.’
And ITV News royal editor Chris Ship said: ‘Given everything that been said/alleged – in six Netflix episodes and one book – this is a big development.
‘But Harry coming alone does mean less pressure on the Royal Family – and fewer of those awkward photographs together.’
Harry is understood to be flying back to California just hours after the ceremony for his father’s coronation is done.
Royal sources claimed Harry told the King that he will not stay in Britain for the star-studded concert at Windsor Castle the following day – and will instead fly back to the US after the ceremony so he can be with his family and belatedly celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday, which is also on May 6.