Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Absent from Trooping the Colour for Second Consecutive Year

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry absent from Trooping the Colour for the second consecutive year.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a service of thanksgiving in London on June 3, 2022. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MATT DUNHAM - WPA POOL/GETTY)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a service of thanksgiving in London on June 3, 2022. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MATT DUNHAM – WPA POOL/GETTY)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will not be present at this year’s Trooping the Colour ceremony, marking the second consecutive year that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been absent from the event.

The annual celebration, which honors the British monarch’s birthday, is set to take place on June 15 in London.

PEOPLE magazine has confirmed that the couple has not received an invitation to the event, echoing their exclusion from last year’s festivities.

This year’s Trooping the Colour will be the first under King Charles‘ reign, following his ascension to the throne after Queen Elizabeth‘s passing.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have resided in California since they stepped back as senior members of the royal family in 2020. Their previous appearances at Trooping the Colour include 2018, shortly after their royal wedding, and 2019, just weeks after the birth of their first child, Prince Archie.

The event was significantly scaled down in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a much smaller gathering held for Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Trooping the Colour on June 9, 2018. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MAX MUMBY/INDIGO/GETTY)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Trooping the Colour on June 9, 2018. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MAX MUMBY/INDIGO/GETTY)

In 2022, Meghan and Harry attended a special Trooping the Colour that coincided with Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrating her 70 years on the throne.

However, unlike their earlier participations, they did not join the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Instead, they watched the festivities from a room above Horse Guards Parade alongside other non-working royals.

Prince Harry made a brief return to the UK in May for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded servicemen and women that he founded.

During this visit, he did not meet with his father, King Charles, due to the King’s packed schedule. The two had a private meeting in February when Harry traveled to London amid news of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis.

The continuity of Trooping the Colour this year faced uncertainty after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election set for July, leading to the cancellation of several royal engagements to avoid diverting attention from the election campaign.

However, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on May 29 that the event would proceed as planned.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (second and fourth from left) attend Trooping the Colour on June 9, 2018. (PHOTO: PEOPLE)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (second and fourth from left) attend Trooping the Colour on June 9, 2018. (PHOTO: PEOPLE)

King Charles, currently undergoing cancer treatment, will attend the event. He will not ride horseback as he has in the past but will instead travel in a horse-drawn carriage alongside Queen Camilla. The King’s participation underscores his commitment to royal duties despite his health challenges.

The involvement of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, in this year’s Trooping the Colour remains uncertain. As the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards, which will troop its flag at the parade, she typically plays a significant role in the event.

However, due to her own cancer diagnosis, she will not take the salute at the traditional Colonel’s Review on June 8. Lieutenant General James Bucknall, a former Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, will take the salute in her stead.

It is still unclear whether Princess Kate will join the royal family at Trooping the Colour on June 15. Since her marriage to Prince William in 2011, she has attended the event every year except during the altered celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The absence of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from Trooping the Colour continues to highlight their changed relationship with the royal family since stepping down from their official roles.

Their decision to live in California and their ongoing endeavors outside the royal sphere have kept them apart from many traditional royal events.

This year’s Trooping the Colour will also reflect the ongoing adjustments within the royal family amid health challenges faced by senior members.

King Charles’ decision to participate, even in a modified capacity, and the uncertainty surrounding Princess Kate’s attendance, mark a period of transition and resilience for the monarchy.

As the royal family prepares for this year’s celebration, the absence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be notable, reminding the public of the evolving dynamics within the family.

The event will proceed with a focus on honoring the monarchy and showcasing the enduring traditions of the British royal family.

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