The Queen's "Greatest Regret" Over Megxit Is Not Seeing Baby Archie

"It seems quite spiteful," an insider said of Meghan and Harry's decision to not bring Archie to the U.K.

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With less than a month to go before they officially step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to make their first joint appearance in London on Mar. 5 at the Endeavour Fund Awards. Harry arrived in Britain last week, and Buckingham Palace has not commented on whether Meghan has yet to land in the U.K. But one thing's for sure: Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will not accompany his parents on this trip where they will carry out their last official engagements, The Times reported. According to an insider, the Queen is "quite sad," to say the least.

While it was expected that Archie would accompany his parents on their final trip as working royals, the nine-month-old is now said to remain at the Sussexes' rented Vancouver Island compound while Meghan and Harry wrap things up in Britain. It is unclear when the couple will next be back in the U.K. with their son, which has raised many questions within the Palace. "There was every hope that Harry and Meghan would bring Archie with them on this trip," a royal source told me. "Their decision to leave their son behind in Canada for their final visit as senior working royals is extremely disappointing and quite hurtful to the Queen, Prince Charles, and the rest of the family."

Baby Archie has not been back to Britain since November before Harry and Meghan left to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, and later extended their stay over the Christmas and the New Year.

"Prince Philip is 98 and is in failing health. The Queen is 93 and has had to endure a great deal of stress trying to oversee the Duke and Duchess's exit while dealing with a great deal of family drama," the insider said. "She has not seen Archie since before the holidays last year. It is incomprehensible to both the staff and members of the family that Harry and Meghan would deprive the family of the opportunity to see Archie yet again. It seems quite spiteful or, at the very least, thoughtless."

The Queen and Prince Philip have seen little of Archie since he was born on May 6, 2019. And "it seems highly unlikely they will be seeing much of him in the future," said the insider. "Her great grandchildren are a source of great joy. She is quite sad about this—and it also saddens her that the other children are being deprived of seeing their youngest cousin."

The reason behind Harry and Meghan's decision to leave Archie in Canada during their 11-day stay in the U.K. has not been confirmed. According to the Express, the spread of coronavirus, which has caused global travel fears, may have factored into their choice. There are currently 36 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.K. and 24 in Canada. "It could very well be that Harry and Meghan decided to leave Archie behind in Canada out of an abundance of caution," another royal insider commented. "Everyone is concerned about the spread of this deadly virus. It's an unfortunate set of circumstances that may have nothing to do with seeing the family."

Harry and Meghan's final engagement as royals will take place at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth service on Mar. 9 with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate Middleton in attendance. The Queen herself requested that Harry and Meghan join the rest of the family at the service.

The Sussexes are expected back for the London Marathon in April. "But who knows?" said my source. "Meghan could in all likelihood opt to stay in Canada with Archie and Harry would return for a solo engagement. After she's fulfilled her obligations to the family, no one would be surprised if she didn't set foot in the U.K. again." And for more on Harry and Meghan's final royal run, check out: Royal Family Plans to "Put on a Good Show" for Harry & Meghan's Return.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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