Meghan Markle was not invited to join royal family for Queen Elizabeth’s last moments, royal expert claims
The Queen’s death marks an end of an era. She was the longest reigning monarch in British history with over 70 years of rule under her belt. The announcement of her death sent shockwaves around the world.
Most importantly, the royal family has been rocked for seventy years, the monarch has also been the matriarch of the family. As they mourn their loss, they also prepare for the crowning of the new King.
The news of the Queen’s death has rocked the entire world. The long-reigning monarch who ruled the United Kingdom and beyond for over 70 years took her final breaths last night in her Scottish castle, Balmoral.
Coronated in June 1953, Elizabeth II has been the only monarch most Britons have ever known in their lifetimes. Her passing truly represents the end of an era: Elizabeth has seen the nation through seven decades of history, serving as a beacon of stability during turbulent times, all the way back to World War II.
The news of her death was not entirely surprising, in fact, the public was somewhat eased into it. On the morning of her passing, there were reports that the Queen’s health was failing. In a palace statement, doctors said they were “concerned” about her health.
When the news of her declining health was made public, and the fact that most members of the family rushed to be by her side, it was clear that the Queen was about to depart this world.
While funeral plans have not been officially announced, the plans have been meticulously set for years. The Queen’s funeral will definitely be a stately affair, befitting the longest reigning monarch in modern history.
After her passing, her oldest son, Charles, is next in line for the throne, and her death marks his accession to King of England — the first new English monarch in 70 years.
During her 70-year-reign, she was arguably the most famous woman in the world. The Queen’s legacy will live on for the life she lived, in service for her people.
It is also difficult to overstate how much history she embodied in her nearly century of life: she was England’s figurehead through nearly all of the nations major moments of the 20th and 21st centuries, from WWII to Brexit.
She held meetings with 15 different prime ministers, from Winston Churchill all the way to the newly-appointed Liz Truss.
Apart from being Queen, she was also a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, in her personal life. The royal family was not immune from family drama and politics. Unfortunately for them, the rifts in their family always seemed to make headlines.
After Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, the news of tensions in the family were rife. Things progressively got worse, and in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle first announced their stepping down from senior royal duties.
The couple initially hoped to retain their titles and take on fewer official duties and work on becoming financially independent. The statement they released said they hoped to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution”.
Their announcement, however, was not taken well by Buckingham Palace. Soon, palace officials announced that Harry and Meghan would no longer receive public funds for royal duties and would no longer be representing the queen in an official category.
In March 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex completed their final commitments in terms of their royal duties.
Their wishes to become financially independent did not exactly pan out the way that they had hoped. In a widely publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple bared it all.
Prince Harry said his family had financially cut him off completely. He said in the first quarter of 2020, he received no money from his family and had to use the money his mother, the late Princess Diana had left behind to provide security for his family.
The couple’s announcement to renounce their titles was a long time coming, according to them. In their interview with Oprah Winfrey, the former royals revealed their time working as senior royals and the toll it took on them; especially on Meghan.
Meghan Markle told a very concerned Oprah that at some points she had even been suicidal. She considered in-patient care for herself but was met with resistance from Buckingham Palace as she was told that it “wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
Another issue for the couple was the blatant racism Meghan had to face not only from the British media but from the institution of the Royal Family as well. The constant racist remarks are what Meghan and Harry believe to be the reason their son Archie was not given a title or provided security protection.
The couple revealed that unnamed members of the family were concerned that Harry’s unborn child might be ‘dark-skinned’ and worried about what the child would look like.
Another nail in the coffin for the couple was that the Royal Palace did not protect Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Markle said that the media made false accusations about her being a ‘diva’ and rude to staff at the palace and that the palace did not bother correcting the false narrative and refuting these false claims. She went as far as saying that the palace on occasion lied to protect members of the royal family but would not tell the truth to protect Meghan and Harry.
Furthermore, before being officially cut off financially, Harry revealed that the family hinted there were not enough funds for them to provide for Meghan Markle as well. The Royal Family apparently suggested that Meghan continue acting.
After Prince Harry and Meghan moved their little family to the United States full-time, things progressively seemed to get worse between Meghan and her in-laws.
Meghan gave birth to the couple’s daughter Lilibet last year, in the United States. The little girl had yet to meet members of the royal family. The royal family had previously expressed positive sentiments at the prospect of meeting the little girl and the newest addition to their clan.
And then the time came for the meeting, Lilibet finally got the chance to meet the Queen and the rest of her royal family when she was in attendance for the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
The event took place at the beginning of June in London, England, marking Queen Elizabeth’s incredible 70-year tenure on the British throne.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations began on Thursday, June 2, with Trooping of the Colour – an event for which the Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. There was then a Thanksgiving service the day after, though the Queen could not attend that because of discomfort she felt the day before. For the same reason, she had to cancel her planned appearance at the Epsom Derby on Saturday, June 4.
On Sunday, June 5, though, the Queen made another appearance, showing face to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee with millions of people who threw parties and street lunches in towns and cities across the UK.
Following her Jubilee, the Queen said she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the celebrations held across the UK in an open “thank you” letter.
For the aforementioned Trooping of the Colour, an incredible four generations of royals were in attendance on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Everyone from Prince Charles, Kate Middleton, and Prince William – as well as the latter couple’s children – to Princess Alexandra, and Princess Anne’s husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, were present. Interestingly, though, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were nowhere to be seen.
As per reports, the couple kept a low profile, attending only a handful of events, including the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. This marked the first time Harry and Meghan had appeared publicly in the UK since they stepped back from the Royal Family in 2020.
For the Trooping of the Colour, however, the couple wasn’t welcome. As per the Queen’s request, only senior working royals were allowed a spot on the Buckingham Palace balcony to greet the gathered crowds.
“After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd June will be limited to Her Majesty and those Members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of The Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in May.
According to The Times, Harry and Meghan instead sat in the Major General’s Office, where they watched the Trooping of the Colour alongside extended members of the Royal Family. It’s not clear wether Archie and Lilibet were with them.
What was clear is that no one – least of all the Queen – wanted the couple to become the center of attention. In fact, that’s even been suggested as the real reason Queen why she limited the Royal Family members permitted to stand on the balcony in the way she did.
“They aren’t part of the [working] royal family anymore, and that’s a decision they have taken—but maybe [the public] hasn’t quite accepted that yet,” an insider told People. “Yes, they were low-key. They paid their respects and went home.
The couple did reportedly get some private time with the Queen.
The pair’s children, Archie and Lilibet, had flown to the UK with them – it was the first time Lilibet had ever visited her father’s homeland. As per sources, on Saturday, June 4, her parents threw her a party to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday.
It was such a privilege to celebrate the 1st birthday of Lilibet with my family and hers! Joy and face painting all around ❤️🎂🎉 pic.twitter.com/bg3RY6MOEu
— Misan Harriman (@misanharriman) June 6, 2022
Meghan and Harry are said to have arranged a backyard picnic at Frogmore Cottage, their UK home. Their friend, Misan Harriman, released a wonderful picture of the little girl celebrating her birthday.
The picnic at Frogmore Cottage also marked the first time that Lilibet got to meet her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and her grandfather, Prince Charles.
Yet while they must have been pleased to finally see Lilibet in the flesh, no photos of them meeting her were released. As reported by The Sun, the Queen actually banned Harry and Meghan from having a photographer present.
“Harry and Meghan wanted their photographer to capture the moment Lilibet met the Queen,” an insider told The Sun. “But they were told no chance. It was a private family meeting.”
According to royal expert Camilla Tominey, the Queen refused to take a photo with the little girl because she had a bloodshot eye. Tominey claims that the monarch did not want to be in any images that would be made public.
Tominey wrote in The Telegraph that Harry was rumoured to have expressed his desire to get a photo between the two “at some point in the future.”
“There was a bit of reluctance among the royals to admit to having any involvement in Lilibet’s birthday party,” Tominey wrote.
Instead of attending their niece’s first birthday party, William, Kate, and their three children, traveled to Wales instead.
“William and Kate made no effort at all to introduce Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to [Lili],” royal expert Christopher Andersen told Us Weekly, adding that there is still “a lot of tension” between Harry and Meghan and William and Kate.
“As far as I know, nobody believes they spoke [to one another]” during the celebrations,” he claimed.
As tensions between Meghan Markle and the royal family have always run high, it was not a surprise when she did not accompany her husband Prince Harry to Balmoral Castle after the news of the Queen’s declining health and subsequent death was made public.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl claims that an invitation to join the royal family at Balmoral was not extended to Meghan Markle.
“It’s understood that the family wanted Prince Harry to be there, even though he was unable to get to Balmoral in time to see his grandmother,” Nicholl told ET.
“But Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was not, we understand, invited to join the family,” Nicholl added. “She has said she will go to Balmoral another time. But I think it is quite significant that Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral on his own without his wife.”
Harry and Meghan were already in the UK, as the couple was expected to attend the WellChild Awards in London. When the news of the Queen’s ill-health spread, the couple canceled their appearance at the awards and Harry made his way to Scotland, alone.
Harry’s flight landed shortly after the news of the Queen’s death was announced. He was seen making his way to Balmoral in a black SUV, covering half his face with his hand, understandably not wanting to be photographed.
The Queen’s son, now King Charles III, his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort, and Princess Anne were all present in Scotland for other engagements, while Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edwards, and his wife Sophie all arrived earlier in the morning of her health taking a turn for the worse.
It has not been confirmed if any members of the royal family were present with the Queen at the time of her death.
Kate Middleton was unable to join Prince William as she was in Windsor, picking up her children from school.
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new king said.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” the statement continued. “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held,” it continued.
The Queen’s death surely marks the end of an era. Hopefully, the royal family will unite during this time and let bygones be bygones.