The Duchess of Sussex has said the suggestion that she misses the coronation because of a letter she sent to King Charles about racism and ‘unconscious bias’ within the Royal Family is ‘frankly ridiculous’.
On Friday, it was reported that Meghan Markle had written to King Charles after his explosive Oprah interview, and she allegedly named the individual accused of speculating about the skin color of his unborn son Archie.
It is understood it was sent in response to a letter from the King – the only senior family member to contact the Duchess after Meghan and Harry were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
A source told The Daily Telegraph the Duchess will not attend the coronation on May 6 as she received an unsatisfactory response from the King.
But Sussex insider Omid Scobie released a statement from Team Sussex, who said in response to the reports, it was “untrue” and “frankly ridiculous”.
Meghan Markle wrote to King Charles about unconscious bias within the royal family after her explosive Oprah interview, it was claimed last night (The Duchess of Sussex is pictured with King Charles in March 2019 during the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey)
It is understood he was sent in response to the King’s – the only senior family member to contact the Duchess after Meghan and Harry were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 (pictured)
The letter from the Duchess of Sussex is said to have named the person accused of speculating about her unborn son Archie’s skin color – but went on to claim the person was not a racist (pictured with Prince Archie in Cape Town in September 2019 during a tour in South Africa)
Writing from his Twitter account, Omid Scobie released the statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
It read: ‘The Duchess of Sussex lives her life in the present, unthinking of correspondence from two years ago linked to conversations from four years ago.
“Any suggestion to the contrary is false and frankly ridiculous.
“We encourage the tabloids and various other royal correspondents to stop exhausting the circus that only they create.”
Previous reports said Buckingham Palace was also aware of the Sussexes’ frustration that the initial coronation correspondence made no reference to their children.
Harry will attend the celebration on May 6 only, while Meghan will look after Prince Archie on his fourth birthday and Princess Lilibet in California.
A royal insider suggested that while the exchange was warm, it did not ease the tension between the two parties.
Relations continued to sour after the Sussexes starred in a six-part Netflix docu-series and the release of Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare.
Charles, who at the time was Prince of Wales, would be disappointed that Meghan and Harry felt the need to go public with such damaging allegations.
He recently backed a research project into the monarch’s historical links to the transatlantic slave trade, after previously expressing his “personal grief”.
MailOnline has contacted the Sussexes for comment but received no response, with the couple releasing the statement via Scobie instead.
Prince Harry has spoken about unconscious bias in the past. In January this year he sat down with Tom Bradby on ITV to promote his memoir.
The presenter said ‘in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism’ Harry replied saying ‘no I didn’t’ adding ‘the UK press said that “.
After Bradby said the Duchess claimed disturbing comments were made about Archie’s skin color, Harry said: “There were – there were concerns about his skin color.”
Asked if he would describe it as racist, the Duke replied: “I wouldn’t, having not lived in this family.”
He continued: “The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different.”
Meghan said the comment about Archie’s skin was not made maliciously. But a source told The Daily Telegraph the Duchess will not attend the coronation on May 6 because she received an unsatisfactory response from the King (pictured with the King and Queen consort in Mary 2018)
Buckingham Palace is also aware of the Sussexes’ frustration that the initial coronation correspondence made no reference to their children
“But once it’s been acknowledged, or made known to you as an individual or as an institution, that you have unconscious biases, then you have the opportunity to learn and grow from that so to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.’
It was also reported that Prince Harry was ‘desperate’ to be at the coronation to publicly support his father because he was ‘sick for the country’.
The Sun also reported on Friday that although the Duke made several attempts to contact the King to discuss plans while in London, his father was only able to write in time for one conversation.
It is understood Harry was ‘missing aspects of British life’ and ‘may start spending more time’ in the UK.
A source told the publication: “Harry was desperate to return for the coronation and to spend some quality time with his family.”
Buckingham Palace revealed on April 14 that Prince Harry was due to attend the King’s coronation service in London next month, with the Duchess of Sussex staying in California with their children.
But the Duchess will stay home at the couple’s Montecito residence with one-year-old Lilibet and Archie, whose fourth birthday is on the same day as the ceremony.
The couple’s friend Omid Scobie has confirmed Archie’s birthdayplayed a part in the couple’s decision ‘and he expected it to be a ‘pretty quick trip to the UK’ for Harry. The duke will only attend the actual ceremony, which should last a few hours.
The announcement came just over three weeks before the event, and a royal watcher told MailOnline: ‘Charles will be delighted. The rest of the family will be relieved that Meghan was not there – it would have been particularly uncomfortable for Kate.
Harry and Meghan had delayed deciding whether to fly for the ceremony, despite the April 3 RSVP date having passed.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement: “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California. with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.’
Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s charitable foundation, later released an almost identical statement to the Press Association news agency confirming the Duke’s attendance.
A spokesperson said: “The Duke of Sussex will attend the coronation service at Westminster Abbey on May 6. The Duchess of Sussex will stay in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.’
Charles will be crowned in a ceremony full of pomp, pageantry and tradition that dates back 1,000 years, following the 70-year reign of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died last September.
Mr Scobie, who is a trusted Sussex contact, tweeted the news of Harry’s upcoming attendance, then added: ‘I understand Archie’s fourth birthday (also May 6) played a part in the couple’s decision.
“Expect a fairly quick trip to the UK for Prince Harry, who will only attend the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.”
And ITV News royal editor Chris Ship said: ‘Given everything that’s been said/alleged – across six episodes of Netflix and a book – this is a great development.
“But Harry coming alone means less pressure on the Royal Family – and less of those awkward photographs together.”
We understand that Harry returns to California only hours after his father’s coronation ceremony.
Royal sources claimed Harry told the King he would not be staying in Britain for the star-studded concert at Windsor Castle the next day – and would instead return to the US after the ceremony so he could be with his family and celebrate belatedly on Archie’s fourth birthday, which is also May 6.