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Where is Meghan Markle? Why the duchess isn't at King Charles III's coronation

The Duchess of Sussex was not in attendance at the coronation ceremony for her father-in-law, King Charles III, in London. Here's why.
/ Source: TODAY

There was one conspicuous absence when the royal family gathered for the coronation of King Charles III in London.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, remained at home in California with her two children on May 6 while her husband, Prince Harry, represented the couple during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Her planned absence has been known since April 12, when Buckingham Palace officials announced that Harry would be attending the festivities while the former Meghan Markle would stay home with Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 1, in Montecito.

The day of the coronation, May 6, is also Archie's fourth birthday.

In late April, the duchess addressed a report in Britain's Telegraph citing an anonymous source claiming she is not attending the coronation because she was unhappy with the king’s response to a letter she reportedly wrote him two years ago.

“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,” a spokesperson for her told NBC News.

“Any suggestion otherwise is false and frankly ridiculous,” the spokesperson continued. “We encourage tabloid media and various royal correspondents to stop the exhausting circus that they alone are creating.”

The duchess allegedly wrote King Charles a letter in 2021 about "her concerns about unconscious bias" within the royal family, according to The Telegraph. The letter reportedly came on the heels of an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she claimed that before Archie was born, unnamed members of the royal family expressed "concerns" about "how dark his skin might be."

Harry and Meghan have had a strained relationship with his family since stepping down from their duties as senior members of the royal family. They also have discussed their rift in televised interviews, Harry's best-selling memoir and a Netflix docuseries.

During the televised ceremony on May 6, Camilla, the queen consort, also was crowned along with King Charles. Harry’s nephew Prince George, 9, the son of Prince William, served as a page of honor for his grandfather during the coronation.

The grandchildren of British monarchs do not usually play an official role in coronations, so George’s participation was a departure from tradition.