Meghan Markle
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex makes the keynote speech during the Opening Ceremony of the One Young World Summit 2022 at The Bridgewater Hall on Sept. 5 in Manchester, England. IBTimes/Chris Jackson/Getty Images


  • Meghan Markle was "damned" whether she chose to attend the coronation or not, Tessa Dunlop claims
  • The historian said Markle was the "convenient" person for people to "blame" for the Sussexes and the royals' division
  • Dunlop noted that Prince Harry "front footed" the couple's narrative in recent months

Meghan Markle continues to bear the brunt of public criticism despite Prince Harry taking the reins in their recent media projects, according to a royal expert.

The Duchess of Sussex became the target of criticism over the past week after it was announced that her husband will attend King Charles III's May 6 coronation alone and that she will remain in California with their kids Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.

However, Dr. Tessa Dunlop, a historian, broadcaster and writer, said she believes Markle would have faced backlash regardless of what decision she made about the coronation because the duchess has long been blamed by the public for the Sussexes' "narrative."

"She would've been damned if she did and damned if she didn't," Dunlop told Us Weekly Tuesday as she promoted her book, "Elizabeth & Philip: A Story of Young Love, Marriage and Monarchy."

Dunlop claimed that Markle is the "convenient" person for people to "blame" amid the ongoing drama between the Sussexes and the royal family. Prince Harry and Markle have been at odds with the members of the firm since they stepped back from royal duties in 2020.

"There was this absolute kind of going for her. It [was] very unpleasant trolling and viciousness," Dunlop continued. "I think what we've seen is at best — or at worst even — Meghan carried an ambivalence towards monarchy and really a total lack of understanding about what it was and how it worked."

The royal expert noted that it was not Markle alone who created the "narrative" in the 2022 Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan" docuseries and Prince Harry's memoir "Spare." The Duke of Sussex spoke out against his family in both projects, claiming that they didn't protect his wife from public hate speech when they were still in Britain.

"Harry's authored [their] history," Dunlop said. "Meghan's very much taken a backseat over the last few months. And Harry's front footed [the narrative]."

As for the former actress' decision not to accompany Prince Harry to the historic event, Dunlop suggested that Markle likely understood the importance of her husband's presence at the coronation but was not willing to contribute to the attention it would already garner.

"[Meghan's] understandably, [like], 'Harry, go on [with] this. It's your family, it's your stuff.' And there'll also be a bit of her that thinks, 'Why the hell should I give that coronation my star quality?'" Dunlop claimed.

However, the historian told the outlet that she doesn't think King Charles' crowning ceremony will be easy for Prince Harry to handle without his wife's support.

Dunlop predicted that the coronation is "going to be a bit of a nightmare for him" because Prince Harry didn't seem "comfortable in his skin" during his last public reunion with the royal family at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in September 2022.

"Clearly [Harry] does lean on [Meghan] very heavily. I think clearly, they bonded. They both had painful childhoods [and] took solace in each other's respective narratives. And he's coming alone," Dunlop told Us Weekly. "That means he's exposed effectively. He will be made to sit [farther from the royals] at best. So, he will have that feeling of demotion."

King Charles will be crowned alongside his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, at Westminster Abbey in London on May 6.

Meghan Markle
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen during The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. Chris Jackson/Getty Images/IBTimes