Meghan Markle, Joe Biden and the notable names missing from the King's coronation guest list

·7-min read

Around 2,000 people will attend the King's coronation in Westminster Abbey.

While the full guest list has not been fully released, there have already been several high-profile names who have already confirmed their absence from the ceremony.

Sky News takes a look at the notable figures who instead may well be watching from home.

Meghan Markle and her children

While Prince Harry is making the journey from California to attend the coronation, the Duchess of Sussex will not be there. She will remain stateside with three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet.

There are a variety of reported reasons for Markle's absence, with the Daily Telegraph stating one as being her desire to celebrate Archie's fourth birthday, which falls on the day of the coronation.

The newspaper also reported her decision to stay away was because she failed to receive a satisfactory response to a letter she sent to the King expressing concern about unconscious bias in the Royal Family.

But Meghan's spokesperson denied this and said any suggestion she was thinking about correspondence from two years ago was "false and frankly ridiculous".

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden told King Charles in a phone call he would not be attending the coronation, with Washington denying his absence was a snub after his four-day trip to Ireland last month.

Jill Biden, the first lady, will attend with a delegation.

This is not without precedent. President Dwight Eisenhower did not attend the 1953 coronation of the Queen, instead sending Earl Warren, then the governor of California, George Marshall, former secretary of State, and Omar Bradley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Vladimir Putin

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not expected to attend the coronation. He has become an international pariah since invading Ukraine in February 2022.

Putin would also face being arrested if he visited the UK after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant over alleged war crimes.

He paid tribute to the late Queen after her death in September. The monarch hosted the Russian leader and his wife at Buckingham Palace in 2003.

Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson said she is not offended that she did not receive a coronation invitation.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, she said: "It's a state occasion and being divorced, I don't think you can have it both ways."

But she insisted that she can still "be there" and celebrate in private despite not being there "on the state occasion".

"That's a lovely feeling to be part of, it really is," she added, "and as I said you can't have it both ways. You mustn't sit on the fence. You're either in or out, don't muck around."

Read more:
Key moments to look out for on coronation day
The 9 key figures in King Charles's coronation ceremony
All about the King's coronation regalia

She also said she planned to mark the occasion by "having a little tea room and coronation chicken sandwich and putting out the bunting".

"I also love to watch it on the telly because you hear a lot on the telly," she added.

She is expected to attend the coronation concert in Windsor Castle on 7 May.

Earl Spencer

Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer said in February he does not expect to be invited to the coronation.

When asked about whether he would be granted a seat at the event, he told the podcast Off Air… with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover: "I wouldn't have thought so, I think it's only about two thousand people going."

He also said he would be thinking about his late sister, who died aged 36 in a car crash in Paris in 1997, on the day.

Earl Spencer attended the Queen's committal service after her death in September. The late monarch was the earl's godmother - his father John was an equerry to the Queen in the 1950s.

It is unclear whether Diana's sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale - who briefly dated King Charles - and Lady Jane Fellowes will attend the service in Westminster Abbey.

The majority of MPs

Initially just 20 MPs and 20 peers were due to get an invite to the coronation but after much anger these numbers were doubled. Ticket allocation will be decided by a ballot.

Coronation planners however created up to 400 places for MPs to stand in a cordoned-off area of Parliament Square, just outside the carriage gate entrances to Parliament.

MPs in this area will see the King and the coronation procession coming down Whitehall and going into Westminster Abbey.

A source told the Telegraph: "This is an attempt to appease them."

At the Queen's coronation in 1953, 800 MPs and 910 peers were invited.

Cabinet ministers' partners

The Daily Mail reported there was anger among ministers that they would be denied plus one for their partners.

A government source told the Mail: "Lots of Cabinet ministers, and their partners, are unhappy about it."

"They sacrifice a lot for their other half to do the jobs they do, and it would mean a great deal to be invited to the coronation."

Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty is the only partner of a Cabinet member that will attend the event.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

After undergoing back surgery, 83-year-old Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will not attend the King's coronation alongside other monarchs from across the world.

Instead her son Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Australian-born Crown Princess Mary will make the journey to London for the coronation.

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

Other foreign royals are also sending representatives. The King and Queen of Norway will be represented by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit while Emperor Naruhito of Japan is sending his brother Crown Prince Fumihito.

The invites to foreign royals signal a break in tradition. For centuries, no other crowned royals were present at British coronations as the ceremony was intended to be an exchange between the monarch and their people in the presence of God.

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

While other heads of state in the Middle East including crown princes from Bahrain and Kuwait have been invited, one that has been left off the list is Mohammad bin Salman.

The powerful royal was internationally condemned after US intelligence found he approved the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani

While the current Emir of Qatar is invited, one of his predecessors will be kept far away from the coronation.

King Charles came under significant pressure after it was revealed in the Sunday Times that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani gave the monarch more than €3m in cash donations in meetings between 2011 and 2015.

The sum also included €1m handed over in a suitcase.

Clarence House insisted the money was "passed immediately to one of the prince's charities who carried out the appropriate covenants and assured us all correct procedures were followed".

The revelation came after claims former aide to King Charles Michael Fawcett helped fix a CBE for Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz.

Pamela Hicks

Several papers covered the exclusion of one of the late Queen's two surviving bridesmaids, with the Mail reporting King Charles apologised to other friends and family who did not receive Coronation invitations.

Lady Pamela Hicks, whose father Lord Louis Mountbatten was Prince Philip's uncle, was informed by one of the King's private secretaries the guest list would be reduced from when she attended the late Queen's coronation in 1953 and George VI's crowning in 1937.

The Mail's front page on 26 April said Lady Hicks's snub, when Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O'Neill and Chinese vice-president Han Zheng received invitations, would "put you off your coronation quiche".