Royal experts explain why Meghan Markle was absent from Oprah Winfrey’s birthday
When Oprah Winfrey was among the many stars who got together over the weekend to celebrate Anastasia Beverly Hills’ 25th birthday, many believed Meghan Markle would be along.
During the glamorous Los Angeles event celebrating Anastasia Soare’s famed beauty brand, the media mogul was presented with a cake to commemorate her 69th birthday, which took place a day later. Among the many A-listers in attendance were Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Rita Wilson, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum, among others.
The Duchess of Sussex has kept a notably low profile this month. Her husband Prince Harry recently completed a media tour for his memoir, Spare, which was released on January 10. It sold 1.43 million copies on its first day of sale in the UK, US and Canada, making it the fastest selling non-fiction book of all time.
Christopher Andersen, author of The King, told Fox News Digital that there’s a good reason the mother-of-two isn’t in the spotlight.
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“I have to be honest, I’ve interviewed Oprah numerous times over the years, starting with her first appearance on the national scene in the 1980s,” Andersen said. “If there’s one thing Oprah is, it’s loyalty. I think people are reading into this supposed snub a lot more than they should. My understanding of the situation is that both Oprah and the Sussexes recognize that this is a very sensitive moment for Harry and Meghan as we move closer to the coronation of King Charles.”
“Performing at such a glitzy, high-profile event with Hollywood A-listers honoring Oprah is not what the Sussexes need right now,” he explained. “That would certainly rub King Charles the wrong way, not to mention an already hostile British public. I’m sure Harry and Meghan will remain on good terms and keep the whole Oprah/H&M thing rocking.”
“Spare” is the latest in a series of public statements by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since stepping away from royal life in 2020. At the time, they cited what they saw as the media’s racist treatment of the Duchess and a lack of support from the palace.
Following their exit, the couple sat down with Winfrey for an interview that was viewed by 50 million people worldwide. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke out again in a six-part Netflix documentary released last month.
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Meghan Markle has kept a low profile following the release of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare. (Getty Images)
“‘Spare’ and their Netflix documentary have generated such a backlash that I’m sure they’ve decided to hold back and focus on their family for the coming months,” Andersen added.
Kinsey Schofield, a royal expert and host of the To Di For Daily podcast, told Fox News Digital that she too wasn’t surprised the mother-of-two didn’t attend the high-profile event. Unlike Andersen, Schofield surmises that cautious publicists in Hollywood don’t send out many invites to the Sussexes.
“I live in Los Angeles and have spent years in PR,” she explained. “The word is that Harry and Meghan aren’t being invited anywhere because all eyes would be on them and it would take away from the matter or the event.”
“…The reality is they’re viewed as drama,” she claimed. “They’re also considered untrustworthy, and a private conversation you have with them could end up being repeated on a podcast, a reality show, or a book.”
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Several royal pundits opened up about why Meghan Markle (left) was not present to commemorate Oprah Winfrey’s 69th birthday in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)
Royal commentator Hilary Fordwich said it would be wise for the Sussexes to keep a low profile while Charles, 74, prepares for his coronation. Harry, 38, recently told British broadcaster ITV that he wants his father and brother back, noting he wants “a family, not an institution”. The prince has previously spoken about his estrangement from his father and older brother Prince William since leaving the UK
“They both know, as we all do, that the big issue is the upcoming coronation,” she said. “…Neither Harry nor Meghan can really risk further harm. Their long-term prospects and overall relevance are in play.”
Fordwich surmised that Markle might be quietly working on “future projects” while at home focusing on the couple’s two young children. And after weathering the backlash over her various disclosures, staying out of the public eye might be the best move for her.
“Given what Harry has said about his children, that he hopes for reconciliation and ‘would love nothing more than our children to have relationships with members of my family’… maybe [they] recognize that all of the implications threaten longer-term concerns,” she added.
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Oprah Winfrey interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a 2021 special in which they revealed their struggles with royal life. (Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Charles will be crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. The coronation is expected to be shorter and less extravagant than the three-hour ceremony held for his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Harry’s father will be crowned in a solemn religious ceremony conducted by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, the palace said in a statement. Camilla, the queen consort, is crowned along with her husband.
“The coronation will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry,” the palace said.
It’s unclear if the Sussexes will attend.
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The coronation of King Charles III. takes place on May 6th. (Alastair Grant – WPA Pool)
Markle, a former American actress who starred in legal drama Suits, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in 2018. The couple now reside in the affluent coastal town of Montecito, California, with their two children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment at Foxnews.com.