Will they or won’t they? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s attendance at this year’s Trooping the Colour is unlikely, according to royal historian Gareth Russell.

Will they or won’t they? 

“I don’t think they need to be invited,” the Do Let’s Have Another Drink! author exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 13. “Not as a kind of insult to them, but you know, it’s a long trip to make from California for the sake of Trooping the Colour. … I think this is one of the events where the Sussexes were never going to be invited.”

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Russell reminded Us that Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, are “not working royals anymore,” so don’t have the same pressure to attend these traditional events. The expectations were different, however, for King Charles III‘s coronation.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England. Geoff Robinson Photography/Shutterstock

“I don’t suppose either party particularly wants to start the [back and forth] again,” Russell added, referring to the widespread speculation about whether the Archewell cofounders would travel to the U.K. to see Charles, 74, be crowned. (Harry ultimately attended the May celebration without his wife.)

The first annual birthday parade of Charles’ reign will take place on Saturday, June 17, though his actual birthday isn’t until November. He has been present for the traditional ceremony in London since he was a child, first celebrating his grandfather King George VI and later for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022 at age 96.

“Obviously, the coronation was a much bigger event — a generational event, in terms of significance for the royal family,” Russell told Us, adding that it shouldn’t “necessarily be seen as an indicator of sentiment either way” if Harry and Meghan aren’t invited to Trooping the Colour.

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The couple announced in January 2020 that they planned to step back from their senior royal duties and moved to the U.S. — where they’re raising son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 2 — later that year. In February 2021, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the activists would not return to their working roles.

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