Meghan Markle and Prince Harry joined the royal family for the Queen’s state funeral this morning, putting on a united front with its members despite their relationship with some privately being strained. But despite the couple’s closeness for the Queen, Meghan and Harry chose not to have their two children Archie and Lilibet fly over from Montecito, California, to join them for Archie and Lili’s great-grandmother’s funeral. The reason is simple: at ages 3 and 1 respectively, Archie and Lili are a little too young for royal events, especially those as solemn as this.
While, as Hello! points out, there is no official rule preventing Archie and Lili from attending the funeral of a sovereign, it is up to the parents’ discretion whether they can handle the event.
Archie and Lili’s aunt and uncle Kate Middleton and Prince William made a similar choice with their youngest child.
While Archie and Lili’s older cousins Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, attended the funeral, but it’s worth noting their younger brother Prince Louis didn’t come. At age 4, Louis isn’t quite old enough for this kind of royal event. His absence is not surprising, as he did not attend the funeral for Prince Philip either last year while George and Charlotte did.
While Lili, who was named after the Queen, and Archie have yet to attend a public royal event and are not in the U.K. with their parents, the two kids do have special memories with the Queen. Lili and the Queen met in June, during the couple’s visit for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Harry briefly touched on how special his kids’ relationship with his grandmother was in the statement he released about her death.
He wrote: “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings—from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.”
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.