But long-time royal reporter Duncan Larcombe revealed their no-show was instead down to Meghan. She apparently felt uncomfortable being around her sister-in-law Kate, 39, after publicly ragging on her during their infamous Oprah Winfrey sit-down.
Larcombe implied that Meghan, 40, was scared to face the music.
“It’s very easy to forget just how personal the attack was against Kate on Oprah,” he tells OK! magazine. “William is understandably very protective of Kate, and let’s not forget that Meghan directly accused Kate of making her cry, rather than the other way round."
“She then accused Kate of briefing journalists against her, or at least not clarifying the truth of the story. It’s a very strong allegation to make publicly.”
For Harry, the failure to appear at an event thrown in honour of his mother is just the latest incident in what his friends say has been a “nightmare year”.
“Harry is exhausted. Everything that could’ve gone wrong has,” says a source.
Indeed, the Sussexes faced intense backlash for naming their daughter Lilibet after the Queen, reportedly without seeking permission, due to their constant attacks on her family.
Most of their money-making deals with tech, finance and streaming companies have been met with mirth from both sides of the Atlantic, and Harry’s relations with his family, including Wills, Kate and Prince Charles, are at an all-time low.
“He would never say it, but it’s obvious everything she’s touched in his life has turned into a mess,” says a source. “There’s a rumour going around that he’s left the house for a break on a number of occasions – sometimes it’s just to the beach to be alone, and others he’s gone to Elton John’s home, which is empty for most of the year. The poor guy just needs time to think!”
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