With the fate of Meghan and Harry’s royal titles still hanging in the balance ahead of the Megxit review this spring, the move will only exacerbate tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the royals. The Queen is hoping to hold a special Trooping the Colour later this year to mark her 95th birthday. The event, which will only go ahead if coronavirus restrictions are eased, hopes to see the Royal Family unite for the landmark celebration. But it has already emerged Meghan Markle will not fly back for the occasion, leaving Prince Harry to return on his own.
Royal expert Nigel Cawthrone has described the move as a “snub” and said Meghan’s decision not to come would case a “dark shadow” over the Royal Family’s summer celebrations.
The Firm is also set to celebrate Prince Philip’s 100th birthday and the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue, which will coincide with what would have been her 60th birthday.
Mr Cawthrone told Femail: “If Meghan decided not to attend for no reason it would indeed be a snub to her royal in-laws and mark a nadir in the relations between the royal family and the Sussexes.”
He added: “It would be a public relations disaster that would hang like a dark shadow over the celebrations.”
But royal author Omid Scobie has defended the Duchess and said the decision not to come back to the UK is a practical one.
He told Ok! magazine: “Meghan wouldn’t want to be away from Archie and it would be very tricky to factor a small child into their travels with all the restrictions that could potentially be in place.”
A royal insider also said Meghan’s choice not to travel was a “personal and practical decision for the couple”.
But Meghan’s absence risks souring the celebrations, as her absence from the proceedings will be noticed.
The royal celebrations will come over a year after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step down as senior royals and carve out a new life in California, USA.
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