King Charles celebrated the annual Trooping the Colour parade, also known as the King's Birthday Parade, without the presence of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have not attended the event since 2019, a year before they stepped down as senior working royals. According to royal expert Tom Quinn, there were brief discussions among senior royals about inviting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to this year's ceremony, but the idea was quickly dismissed.

"There was a brief discussion among the senior royals about inviting Harry and Meghan to Trooping the Colour," Quinn told The Mirror. "But the idea was quickly dismissed because even if the couple accepted the invitation there is a feeling that they cast a dark shadow over everything."

The event marked Princess Kate's return to the public eye following the news of her undergoing treatment for cancer. The 42-year-old princess beamed as she stood on the balcony at Buckingham Palace alongside her husband, Prince William, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Kate stood shoulder-to-shoulder with King Charles, who is also receiving cancer treatment, as they waved to the cheering crowds during the RAF flypast.

While Harry and Meghan's absence was noticeable, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams believes that the Duke of Sussex must harbor some nostalgia for his past duties, especially those linked to his time with the military. "I think when it comes to military matters Harry has always taken an interest," Fitzwilliams told the Sun. "I think that he does unquestionably view the way the break has occurred with the Royal Family. Which, as I say in my opinion, is the fault of the Sussexes. They've been hoping for an apology from the Royal Family regarding their treatment during their time as senior royals, which is unlikely to happen. There's likely a touch of regret there."

The decision not to invite Harry and Meghan to Trooping the Colour comes amid reports of the ongoing rift between the Sussexes and the royal family. The Daily Mail reports that a well-placed source was asked whether Harry could bring his children to see the King at Balmoral during the royals' annual UK summer break, and was met with a "resounding sort". The publication added that attempts to repair the relationship had been "complicated" by Harry's "repeated attacks on his father and family and his dogged insistence in the UK courts that he isn't safe bringing his family to the UK."

Harry's most damaging allegations, spread across his 2021 Oprah interview, the Harry & Meghan docu-series on Netflix, and his memoir, Spare, saw the King painted as an often-distant parent, with William as hot-headed and the instigator of a physical fight between the brothers over Meghan, Kate as a cold and unwelcoming figure, and Camilla as "dangerous" in her quest for a PR rehabilitation.

Earlier this month, it was reported that King Charles had "directly" requested his son not divulge any further private details about their family in order to mend their rift. Quinn told The Mirror that the King had issued a firm directive to his son, telling him to "stop publicly complaining".

"Harry has been asked directly by his father not to write or say publicly anything further about the family or his brother that might cause trouble, and everyone knows that when a king asks you to do something there are going to be consequences if you do not obey," Quinn said. "Over the years that Harry has complained about his treatment by his family he has had just one aim - to get an apology and to see his father and brother make amends. Harry just can't see that complaining in private might work; complaining publicly just makes things worse and in Harry's case that means more and more ties to his past being severed."