Meghan Markle has “read the tea leaves” in respect of the public response should she have opted to attend King Charles III’s Coronation, and is skipping it to avoid being booed, a US-based royal expert has said. Hilary Fordwich also suggested the Sussexes had been presented with the “perfect out” by the fact that son Prince Archie’s fourth birthday falls on May 6, the same day as the lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Following weeks of speculation, both Buckingham Palace and Meghan and Harry’s spokesman confirmed the 41-year-old former Suits actress would not be travelling to England to see her father-in-law crowned – but that Prince Harry would.
Ms Fordwich, a regular royal commentator on US television, was unsurprised by the decision, having previously suggested Harry’s visit to the UK for the start of his privacy case against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers in March was specifically aimed at “testing the waters” in terms of whether he and his wife would attend the lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Referring to the date clash, she told Express.co.uk: “They have taken the perfect ‘out’.
“As for the delay, when in doubt with those two one can always bank (pun intended) for them to neither follow protocol nor to be polite but rather to have their own ploy.”
Ms Fordwich continued: “In terms of her royal status and her relationship with the UK Meghan Markle is no fool.
“She has read the tea leaves, seen and read the negative response to her and is smartly avoiding being booed.”
Citing the Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, she added: “She declared to Oprah that ‘the most important title she would ever hold would be Mom’, so focusing on Archie in consistent with that.
“Every mother should be with their children when they can for important life milestones like birthdays and this is Archie’s fourth.”
Ms Fordwich previously predicted the Sussexes would get a “frosty” reception if they accepted the King’s invitation, given the fallout from his explosive memoir, Spare, and the couple’s Netflix series, both of which levelled multiple accusations at the British Royal Family.
Referring to Harry’s arrival at the Old Bailey, she told Express.co.uk earlier this month: “Perhaps his appearing in London, unannounced, to attend the court case was ‘testing the waters’, taking one link at a time in the chain of destiny to help the couple decide.
“The dilemma facing Harry and Meghan is that of a lose-lose situation.
“On the one hand, if they do accept their invitation the likelihood of being booed by the British public, whom they threw under the bus, is highly likely.”
By way of evidence, she pointed to an Ipsos survey released in January suggesting Harry is currently seen favourably by 23 percent of Britons between the ages of 18 and 75 interviewed on January 10 and 11, a drop of seven percent, with 53 percent seeing him in a negative light.
The figures for Meghan – 19 percent and 55 percent respectively – were even worse.
A YouGov poll published today makes worrying reading for the King, indicating most Britons are uninterested in his coronation – although will still watch it or take part in related festivities.
Despite this almost half – 46 percent – said they are likely to watch the coronation or take part in related celebrations.
Coronation apathy is especially high among younger age groups, with 75 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 saying they do not care “very much” or “at all” about the event, and 69 percent of those aged between 25 and 49 saying the same.
Even among the over-65s, the most pro-royal demographic, 53 percent said they did not care “very much” or “at all”.