Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have issued a statement responding to reports that they turned down an offer to attend King Charles’ upcoming birthday celebrations.
After several UK tabloids made the claim, as spokesperson for Harry and Meghan made the unusual move of releasing a rebuttal.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Peter Ford’s take on Prince Harry’s statement.
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Harry’s father will be marking his 75th birthday with a gathering at Clarence House on November 14.
British newspapers including The Sunday Times reported that the monarch had extended an “olive branch” invitation to the now US-based pair, but they had rejected the offer.
According to the statement released by Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson, they didn’t reject the invitation for one simple reason — they weren’t invited in the first place.
“In response to UK media headlines, there has been no contact regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday,” the statement read, as per The New York Post.
“It is disappointing The Sunday Times has misreported this story.”
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Speaking on The Morning Show on Tuesday, entertainment reporter Peter Ford said it was an indication of the state of the relationship between Prince Harry and his father.
“Reports over the last several days were that Prince Harry had snubbed an invitation to go to his father’s 75th birthday celebrations next week,” Ford said.
“Now one thing is certain, he won’t be there, that much we know.
“Now the word has come out from Prince Harry’s people that in fact he wasn’t invited and the spokesperson has gone on the record to say that there was no invitation issued, or words to that effect, for Harry to attend.
“So he either snubbed it or he didn’t get invited.
King Charles and Prince Harry. Credit: Getty
“I think that shows you how bad and frosty the relationship is, even though it was always believed that King Charles was the one that really wanted to try and mend things.
“It was brother William who was the one who was saying no, we don’t want him anywhere near us.
“This is a private event, not a state occasion, and there is no obligation to extend an invitation.
“It’s purely a personal decision.”
It’s a far cry from five years ago, when Harry and Meghan reportedly delayed their honeymoon to attend Charles’ 70th birthday and posed for a series of family portraits.
Less than 18 months later, the couple announced they were stepping away from royal duties and moving to Canada.
Not long after that, they settled in Montecito, California, where they have been based ever since with son Archie and daughter Lilibet.
Prince Harry and Meghan. Credit: AP
Fast-forward to 2023, a controversial Netflix documentary, Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare and a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired allegations of racism in the royal family, and the picture is very different.
One source close to Charles recently told The Times that the monarch was saddened by the state of things between Harry and Prince William, and his own estrangement from his son.
“When he gets to the end of another successful work day and thinks of his family, there will always be a twinge in his heart about a problem he hasn’t been able to solve yet,” Charles’ friend told the outlet.
Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson has denied they received an invitation to Charles’ 75th birthday celebrations. Credit: Getty
“But he will be taking the long-term view.
“The current act is a challenging one. There are issues that aren’t resolved and there won’t be a rapprochement any time soon.
“There is the sense of a cooling-off period from the family that is under way after the aftershocks of the book and interviews.
“But that doesn’t change the King’s love for his son.”
The source also suggested that Charles would always extend an invitation to his son to attend a family event.
“He’ll never not invite his son to a family gathering,” they said.
“That’s not who he is.”
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