September 8 will mark one year since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
And the royal family plans to mark the occasion in a manner that would make the late monarch proud:
Sources have confirmed that there will be a good deal of “quiet reflection,” but in honor of Elizabeth’s indefatigable work ethic and commitment to public service, there will also be an award ceremony for contributors to the WellChild charitable foundation.
After weeks of uncertainty, it now looks as though Prince Harry will be on hand for the tribute to his late grandmother — but he will not joined by his wife, Meghan Markle.
This is not terribly shocking news, as Harry also attended King Charles’ coronation without Meghan back in May.
But the news of Meghan’s absence is somewhat surprising for several reasons:
For starters, Harry and Meghan are set to attend the Invictus Games together in Dusseldorf, Germany on September 9, and it was assumed that they would make their stopover in London en route to that event.
The fact that Harry will be alone in London seems to indicate that the Sussexes will be making the long journey separately.
And then there’s the matter of recent turmoil regarding the couple’s public image.
Recent polls indicate that Harry and Meghan’s approval ratings have been on the decline throughout 2023.
And the tabloid press has been having a field day with recent photos in which Meghan is clearly not wearing her engagement ring while hanging out with friends at an LA eatery.
Insiders insist that the ring is merely being repaired and that all is well between Harry and Meghan.
That seems like the likeliest explanation, but the fact remains that Harry and Meghan have been appearing in public separately more frequently than ever in recent weeks, and a joint appearance in London would have gone a long way toward dispelling the rumors of marital strife.
Instead, Meghan’s absence will likely lend credence to the claims that recent PR crises have placed a strain on the Sussexes’ marriage.
Journalist Judith Woods is the latest commentator to suggest that the absence of the ring is an indication of trouble within Harry and Meghan’s relationship.
But unlike other pundits who have taken the alarmist approach, Woods is of the belief that there’s no cause for concern.
“Here’s the thing; maybe, just maybe, Meghan is simply very cross with Harry. No biggie,” Woods wrote in her column for the Daily Telegraph (via Express).
“Meghan, if you did take it off for whatever reason and have lost your Markle sparkle, you are not alone.”
Woods went on to explain that many women have taken off their rings after a fight — and then proceeded to misplace the symbolic bling.
In fact, the columnist says she once made that make mistake herself!
“I’m not judging your motivations. Taking off a ring is a bit of a statement,” Woods wrote.
“Just ‘fess up to Harry. He’ll definitely buy you a new one as it’s a first offence, the whole ‘is she… isn’t she” speculation will stop and Harmony (see what I did there?) will be well and truly restored.”
It’s refreshing to see Meghan receiving a bit of sympathy from the British press.
If that sort of thing happened more often, perhaps the Sussexes wouldn’t feel the need to be so fiercely protective of their privacy.
But Meghan is well aware that she wouldn’t find much compassion among the media if she were to join Harry in London.
Which is why she’s probably making the right move by simply meeting her husband in Dusseldorf.