Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Won’t Be at Prince Charles’ Big 70th Birthday Party

Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Charles is celebrating a milestone birthday this year as he will turn 70 and there are plans being made at Buckingham Palace to mark the occasion. However, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, won’t be able to attend the special event because of the plans they have in place.

Charles won’t actually turn 70 until November but a party in his honor is being thrown a few weeks in advance. Unfortunately, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be making an appearance at the Oct. 25 affair for Harry’s father because the couple will be away on their first royal tour together since they got married. Because they will be traveling to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga the last two weeks of October they can’t make the party which Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall is helping organize.

Some of the details about the bash have been released to the public. The evening will feature a program of music, opera, ballet, and Shakespearean drama. The concert is being produced by David Whelton OBE and directed by Greg Doran, who is the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with the Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House.

“It’s going to be a very special night and Charles is very much looking forward to it,” a source told Vanity Fair.

Although the future king of England will surely be disappointed that his youngest son and daughter-in-law won’t be able to make it, he understands how important their first official tour is. Moreover, the Prince of Wales’ birthday is celebrated on several different days this year and Markle and Harry were present for one of those days shortly after they got married. The pair delayed their honeymoon so they could be at the Buckingham Palace garden party.

“Harry and Meghan can’t be [at the upcoming party] because they will be overseas. It’s why they were so keen to be at the garden party for Charles back in May.”

Charles’s eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton, were noticeably absent from the garden party. The Duke of Cambridge had a prior engagement arranged to speak at a tribute for the Manchester Arena bombing victims one year after the attack and the duchess was still on maternity leave following the birth of Prince Louis.

“It is traditional for new royal mums to take a six-month break from official engagements,” royal biographer, Duncan Larcombe told BAZAAR.com. “The wedding doesn’t count because it was a ‘family affair’ but other than that, she will pick and choose her engagements.”

But William and Middleton will both be at Charles’ upcoming party. And as for Prince Harry and Markle, they will back from their tour well in advance of Charles’ actual birthday on Nov. 14, a day in which the queen will be hosting a party for him that will be televised throughout Great Britain.

Read more: Why Do Some Royal Family Members Celebrate Two Birthdays?

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