Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be making a surprise visit to the Academy Awards this year.
On Sunday, The Daily Beast reported that the royal couple had turned down an opportunity to come out at the end of the show and announce the award for Best Picture. The appearance would have been the first major appearance for Harry and Meghan since their announcement that they would be stepping back from their royal duties and splitting time between North America and England.
As Cosmopolitan reported, the decision to turn down the Oscars may have been influenced by another recent award show appearance that didn’t go so well for another royal couple.
“Earlier this week, Harry and Meghan made a secret trip to Miami to speak at a private event for JP Morgan, so it’s not like they aren’t willing to travel to make an appearance,” the report noted.
“However, this news comes after reports that Prince William and Kate Middleton had a not-so-great time at the BAFTAs, aka Britain’s version of the Oscars, last weekend.”
There had been speculation building throughout the week that Harry and Meghan may have made a surprise visit to the Academy Awards, especially after the couple’s recent travels in the United States and reported visits with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.
The appearance would have been in line with past surprises at the Academy Awards. Back in 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the end of the show to award Best Picture to Argo.
Meghan Markle has made it clear that she could be doing more acting work in the future, with reports that she signed a voiceover deal with Disney in exchange for the company making a substantial donation to an elephant charity supported by Prince Harry. But she may not be ready to return to the spotlight of the Academy Awards just yet — and still has duties elsewhere.
At the same time of the report that she and Prince Harry turned down the chance to present at the Academy Awards, another report from The Sunday Times claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to return to England next month so they can join the rest of the royal family at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. The report noted that this will be the last royal engagement for the couple before they settle back into their new home in Canada.