The royal family rushed to be by Queen Elizabeth II’s side ahead of her death, including grandson Prince Harry. While it was first reported that Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, would be accompanying her husband to Scotland, she ultimately did not go, and an insider explains her absence exclusively to In Touch.

“Meghan felt it would be wrong to go to Balmoral given her history with the royal family,” a source tells In Touch exclusively on Thursday, September 8, following the queen’s passing. “It was direct family only, and she is unwelcome there.”

Queen Elizabeth II – who served on the British throne for more than 70 years – died on September 8 at the age of 96, the royal family confirmed. 

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the official Twitter account of the royal family wrote. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

While tensions between the Duke of Sussex, 37, and Duchess of Sussex, 41, and members of the royal family have continued for years, they had a meaningful bond with his grandmother and even named their daughter after the late monarch. 

“We have a really special relationship. We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else,” he told The Today Show in April, ahead of the Queen’s Jubilee.

Meghan and Harry — who share son Archie and daughter Lilibet — stepped down from their senior royal positions in January 2020 and relocated to Montecito, California, amid their ongoing battle with his family. 

“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”

The former monarch released a statement of her own, showing support for her grandson and his wife. 

“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” her statement read. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of the family. I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”

Although their relationship with the late queen remained strong, the pair’s relationship with Prince Charles and Prince William continued to be strained. While Harry traveled back to the U.K. following the passing of his grandfather, Prince Philip, in April 2021, Meghan remained in California with their two children. It remains unclear if Meghan will be in attendance for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. 

Reps for the Sussexes did not immediately respond to In Touch’s request for comment.

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