How Meghan Markle spends coronation day with birthday boy Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet
The Duchess of Sussex planned a “quiet party at home” for her son, a source told PEOPLE
While the royal family (including Prince Harry) marked the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on Saturday, Meghan Markle was home in Montecito, California, to mark son Prince Archie’s fourth birthday.
As she has in recent years, the Duchess of Sussex, 41, planned a relaxed party at home for her young son with close friends and family.
“It will be a quiet party at home,” a source told PEOPLE. “They will have friends around and Meghan’s mother, Doria [Ragland]. Meghan will definitely have support that weekend.”
And Archie will have his little sister, Princess Lilibet, 23 months, by his side.
“They’re so sweet together. Archie loves Lili. He’s such a sweet boy. When she’s not around, he asks, ‘Where’s Lili?’ added the source.
Related: Prince Harry ‘found his vibe’ in California, but ‘missed home’, friend says
Meghan’s decision to stay in California while Prince Harry attended his father’s coronation reflects the complex feelings between the couple and the royal family.
“Business is under pressure,” says a palace insider.
Those closest to the couple know that the media frenzy Meghan faced in the UK last year at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral – and for the next seven months – played a major role in her decision not to come .
“Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the attention she receives outweighs the support,” says the good friend. “There will always be that other side that challenges their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?”
Prince Harry arrived at Westminster Abbey on Saturday for the coronation ceremony with his cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, accompanied by the sisters’ husbands. After chatting with Beatrice’s husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, on the walk in, Harry spoke to Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, who he sat next to in the third row during the service.
The Duke of Sussex wore a morning suit for the occasion, following the dress code for most of the borough. PEOPLE understands that Harry was requested to wear a morning suit – and that he did not ask specific questions about his outfit. He decorated the suit with his Afghanistan service medal, along with the Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee and Platinum Jubilee medals, as well as his KCVO neck decoration and star.
Prince Archie and Princess Lili were last in the UK celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. The significant trip was Princess Lili’s first visit to the UK, as she was born in California on June 4, 2021 and had yet to visit her. father’s homeland. Archie was born in the UK on May 6, 2019, but hadn’t been back since late 2019.
During the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s time last June, they held a small birthday party for Lili, who turned 1 during the trip. The couple, who moved to Meghan’s home state of California after stepping back from their royal role in 2020, invited close friends and family for a “casual, intimate backyard picnic” at Frogmore Cottage, a spokesperson said.
Fans got another glimpse of the festivities in the Netflix docuseries Harry and Meganairing in December 2022. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared intimate family photos throughout the six-episode series, including from Lili’s birthday party.
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After Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, Harry’s father became King Charles – and as the monarch’s grandchildren, Archie and Lili were given the titles of Prince and Princess.
“The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became monarch,” a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told PEOPLE. “This matter has been settled for some time in consultation with Buckingham Palace.”
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