Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Son Archie Stayed Behind in Canada Over Coronavirus Concerns

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle returned to the United Kingdom for their last round of royal engagements this month, it was reported that their son, Archie Harrison, remained in Canada. According to a royal reporter from The Telegraph, the decision was made due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Reporter Briony Gordon was at a meeting Markle held with a group of students from the Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace, where topics of discussion included "cancer care in Rwanda, [to] climate research projects in India, and yes, how to prevent the spread of coronavirus throughout the globe."

"The decision to leave Archie behind in Canada came not out of petty spite, as reported in some areas, but out of concern for his health during the threat of a global pandemic," Gordon wrote.

Harry arrived in the U.K. early this month and was later joined by Markle, who accompanied her husband to multiple events including the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9 that is thought to be the Sussex's last event as senior royals.

While Archie wasn't on the trip with his parents, Markle did offer an update on the 10-month-old during her International Women's Day appearance while speaking with a woman named Geraldine Dear. "I just had to ask her about the baby," Dear reportedly told the Daily Mail. "She said to me, 'He's exactly 10 months today and he's started trying to walk.'"

A source added to PEOPLE that Harry and Markle were "FaceTiming with [Archie] every day."

Earlier this month, some reports criticized the pair for leaving Archie in Canada and denying his British relatives time with him.

"It would be a great pity if he's not brought over because he's not seen his great grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, or his granddad [Prince Charles], since last year, and I think it would be such a shame if they don't get a chance to see him," Dickie Arbiter — Queen Elizabeth II's press spokesperson from 1988-2000, told Nine News Australia, via Page Six.

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"I believe that they should bring him, and I'm sorry, there isn't an excuse for not bringing him. After all, he's got to meet his family, his family are not going to get a chance to see him for some time because Harry and Meghan are going to be in Canada or the United States, wherever they decide to choose and make base," Arbiter added, calling the couple's choice "spiteful" and "inconsiderate."

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