While the Duke of Sussex traveled to the UK for his father’s crowning ceremony, Meghan Markle stayed in California with their two children
Prince Harry is on his way out of the UK after King Charles’ coronation.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, traveled to the airport just hours after the crowning ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, where his father and Queen Camilla were crowned before 2,200 guests by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
While the major occasion was a royal reunion for Prince Harry and other members of the royal family, who were all last together for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral in September, it was previously reported that the Duke of Sussex didn’t plan to stay long. Saturday is also Prince Archie’s 4th birthday.
The church service commenced at 11 am, and the Duke of Sussex headed back to California shortly after. He was not invited to the balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace which followed the ceremony.
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The transatlantic trip is a journey of over 5,400 miles, about an 11-hour nonstop flight. With the time difference, he could be home in California with wife Meghan Markle, birthday boy Prince Archie, and daughter Princess Lilibet, 23 months, by evening.
Prince Harry came to the crowning ceremony without the Duchess of Sussex, 41, who stayed back in California with their young children. The couple relocated to Meghan’s home state after stepping back from their royal roles in 2020. Buckingham Palace announced in April that Prince Harry would attend the crowning ceremony, and Meghan would not.
“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” the palace said in a statement.
Related:Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Roles Within the Royal Family Since Their Exit Explained
Though family tensions eventually led the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step back from their royal roles three years ago, and relations have remained strained since the release of his memoir Spare over the winter, Prince Harry is thought to attend the coronation out of duty and love for his father.
“At the end of the day, he’s going to be there for his dad,” a close friend recently told PEOPLE.
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King Charles, 74, was said to be deeply saddened by the accusations of disloyalty and media manipulation that his younger son made against the royal family in his memoir. But it would be Charles’s “first wish” for Harry to join them at the coronation, says a source who knows the royals.
RELATED VIDEO: Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet’s Titles Updated on Royal Family’s Website
Across the pond, Meghan celebrated Archie’s birthday with a small party at home.
“It’s going to be a low-key party at home,” a source previously told PEOPLE of the plans. “They’ll have friends around them and Meghan’s mom, Doria [Ragland]. Meghan will definitely have support that weekend.”
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