How fans and critics have reacted to Harry attending Charles's coronation without Meghan

Harry and Meghan view tributes left for Queen Elizabeth by the public, Windsor Castle, September 10 2022. (Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan were last seen with the rest of the Royal Family at Queen Elizabeth's funeral. (Getty Images)

What's happening? The news Harry will attend King Charles's coronation, while Meghan stays in the US, has prompted mixed reaction in the international press.

On Wednesday it was announced that the Duke of Sussex would attend the coronation on 6 May, while the duchess would stay in California with their two children, Prince Archie, three, and Princess Lilibet, one.

"Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that 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," a palace statement read.

The coronation falls on Archie's fourth birthday, and Yahoo UK understands that this played a part in the couple's decision-making.

Harry's desire to support his father, on what will be one of the biggest days of Charles's life, is also understood to have been a factor in his decision to attend, according to a source.

He will only attend the coronation ceremony — rather than the rest of the celebrations planned over the weekend, which include a concert at Windsor Castle and street parties across the UK.

There has already been a flurry of speculation since it was announced that Harry would be attending without Meghan about the potential motivations of the duchess for staying away.

Equally, her decision has been critiqued and supported in equal measure, once again highlighting how polarising a figure she has become.

Despite stepping back from life as a working royal, Meghan has yet to shed the symbolic weight that comes with that role.

Yahoo UK breaks down some of the reaction and speculation that has surrounded Meghan's decision not to attend at the coronation so far.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
During the hearing on 18 March, the court heard that a visit in 2021 to unveil a statue to his mother Diana, saw Harry go without adequate protection. (Getty Images)

'It's a wise decision': Who is supporting Meghan?

Lots of people have come out in support of the duchess's decision to give the coronation ceremony a miss — although their reasons for doing so differ.

Speaking on GB News, former The Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie said that he thought it was "a wise decision".

"There's a real sense of angst against both of them and they've solved it. [Harry] has to turn up, he has to turn up to his dad's coronation".

Mackenzie added that many families experience similar issues with their in-laws and that Meghan staying away while Harry attends is "the perfect solution".

Dickie Arbiter, formerly a press secretary for the Queen, said on Good Morning Britain (GMB) that it was the "right decision" for the Duchess not to attend because the "optics would not be good".

Lawyer and women's rights activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said on GMB that Meghan's decision "admirable and inspiring".

"I think Meghan's decision to say no to the most powerful family in Britain, and say no to the most talked about party in town is both admirable and inspiring. What Meghan's basically doing is she's exercised the power of no which comes from a place of self-worth".

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said to the Mail Online that the couple's decision was "probably an ideal compromise".

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Queen Elizabeth II smiles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour alongside (L-R) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charlotte of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour on June 02, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Last year those appearing on the balcony for the Platinum Jubilee were limited to those higher up in the line of succession: only Charles and Camilla and William, Kate and their children appeared with the late Queen (Getty Images)

Who has criticised Meghan?

The duchess has been criticised by some for declining her invitation to Charles's coronation.

Royal biographer Angela Levin said to Talk TV that "Meghan doesn't believe in supporting anybody in her family, it's all about herself".

Writing in the Daily Mail, journalist and broadcaster Dan Wootton said that he believed there is "no doubt that Meghan's non-attendance comes down, as always, to her massive ego and obsession with being idolised" and further that "without any doubt, Meghan would have tried to upstage King Charles III during his own coronation".

Camilla Tominey criticised the couple in The Telegraph for seeming to "relish engaging in games of cat and mouse with the palace" by withholding their RSVP status for "months".

"Control is key – and in withholding their confirmation for months, Harry and Meghan ensured that the ball remained in their court."

An image of the official invite to King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation. (Buckingham Palace)
An image of the official invite to King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation. (Buckingham Palace)

Why is Meghan not attending the coronation?

Ever since the decision was announced on 12 April, speculation about why Harry would be making the trip alone has been rife.

Despite a source close to Harry saying it was due to Archie's birthday and the duke's willingness to support his father on such a big day, not everyone has bought that this is the real motivation behind the decision.

Wootton called the excuse of Archie's fourth birthday "poppycock" in the Daily Mail.

Other speculation has included that the Mirror quoting Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, who claimed that Meghan's exclusion from the planned balcony appearance was "more than she could bear" which was why she refused the invitation.

Royal biographer, Tom Bower, has alleged to GB News that it was the Princess of Wales who made the decision, not Meghan.

"I think it's an ugly compromise. We must all be grateful that Kate in the end prevented Meghan from coming, saying she 'wouldn't have her there in any circumstances'."

Sean O'Grady, writing for The Independent said it was a "great, great shame" the duchess isn't going to attend, and "a very sad state of affairs" and noted that there would be a lot of rumours about her motivations.

"No doubt there’ll be rumours about demands for tiaras and appearances and status and the like. That stuff is hard to take.

"Rightly or wrongly she might well have been concerned about her children’s safety as well as her own. The hatred towards her is difficult to comprehend, and often entirely irrational, if not barmy. She might have been booed. She will have had to take that into account."

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