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Prince Harry Has No Role In King Charles’ Coronation—Unlike William’s Duty

He wants to be part of a big day in his father's life.
King Charles, Camilla, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Image: Getty Images

After his drama with his brother, father and other members of the British royal family, royal followers want to know: Is Prince Harry invited King Charles’ coronation?

Following the release of his and his wife Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan in December 2022, Harry’s book, Spare, may be a dealbreaker in whether or not he and Meghan are invited to King Charles’ coronation or not. Sources told Page Six in July 2023, that the book, which was released in January 2023, was bound to receive a negative reaction from Harry’s family. “It’s juicy, that’s for sure,” a publishing insider said at the time. “There’s a lot of new stories in there about the past that Harry has not spoken about before, about his childhood … there is some content in there that should make his family nervous.” Although Harry wrote a lot about his family, he did not discuss his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022. 

Pulitzer prize winner J.R. Moehringer helped Harry write his memoir. “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become. I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story — the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned — I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful,” Harry said in a statement in 2022 announcing his book.

But back to King Charles’ coronation. So is Prince Harry invited to King Charles’ coronation? Read on for what we know.

Was Prince Harry invited to King Charles’ coronation?

Is Prince Harry invited to King Charles’ coronation? A representative of Harry and Meghan confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are invited to King Charles’ coronation. “I can confirm The Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation,” a spokesperson for the Archewell founders told The Guardian on March 5, 2023 “An immediate decision on whether The Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”

According to King Charles’ Coronation liturgy from the Church of England, Prince Harry will not have an official role in the coronation. However, Prince William will. The Prince of Wales will read The Homage of Blood while Prince Harry isn’t mentioned in the program at all. William is set to read back to his father, “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.”

Harry revealed in an interview with ITV in January 2023 that he wants to attend King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, but the decision depends on his father. “If you are invited to the Coronation, will you come?” ITV News anchor Tom Bradby asked Harry, who responded, “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”

King Charles III, Prince William and Harry
King Charles III, Prince William and Harry. Getty Images

The interview came around the time of Harry’s memoir, Spare, in which he slammed Charles and his brother, Prince William, whom he called his “archnemesis.” “There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into, or was played by, the ‘heir/spare,'” Harry told Good Morning America at the time about his and William’ relationship.

On February 8, 2023, a source told Entertainment Tonight that William thinks that Harry “crossed a line.” “The family is appalled that Harry has revealed such private and lurid details which are completely inappropriate,” the source said, adding that no one thought Harry would go this far and share this much. “He’s gone about dealing with it the wrong way. The problem is no family conversation can ever take place because Harry claims he and [his wife] Meghan Markle are opposed to leaks and then he and Meghan share extremely private family matters with the public.”

Another source told People, that the King absolutely wants his son to attend his coronation. “It is such a momentous occasion for Charles, and he would want his son to be at the coronation to witness it. He would like to have Harry back in the family,” the source says. “If they don’t sort it out, it will always be part of the King’s reign and how he has left his family disjointed. He has had a reputation as a distant parent, and it would be awful for him for that to continue.”

Another source told UsWeekly the same sentiment on February 13, 2023. “The palace is trying to come up with solutions to keep the peace and form some kind of reconnection and unity between William and Harry. It’s now or never,” the insider says. “The coronation is a time to celebrate, and no one wants this dark cloud hanging over the festivities on such a significant occasion.”

A source told Daily Mail in December 2022 that Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are welcome to attend King Charles’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in London because they’re family. “Harry is his son and His Majesty will always love him,” the insider said. “While things are difficult at the moment, the door will always be left ajar.” The source’s news came days after the final episodes of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan debuted. Though the documentary didn’t have any major digs on the British royal family or Charles, many royal insiders speculated that the couple wouldn’t be invited due to the contents of the series.

Sources also told The Daily Beast earlier in  2022 that, Harry’s invitation to the coronation also depends on what he wrote about Charles’ wife, Queen Consort Camilla, in his book. A friend of Camilla told the Daily Beast that Charles would choose Camilla over Harry if what Harry wrote about his stepmother was negative. “Almost everything Charles has done over the past 20 years has, in one way or another, been about getting Camilla accepted by the public,” the friend said. “He loves her. He is incredibly protective of her and he couldn’t do it without her. Even the queen finally accepted that. It is one thing for Harry to attack Charles, he can take it on the chin, but if Harry forces him to choose, by laying into Camilla in his book, I have no doubt he will choose Camilla.”

Royal biographer Angela Levin, wrote a book Camilla about the Queen Consort’s relationship with the British royal family, also told the Lorraine show in 2022 about how she believed the media and certain royal family members have mistreated Camilla since she married Charles. “I decided that somehow I had to rebalance things,” Levin said. “One was The Crown, which I felt had been really cruel to her, and the other was actually Prince Harry, who had said really nasty things about her, too.”

Another royal expert, Katie Nicholl, told the Daily Beast in 2022 that Charles is looking forward to his son and daughter-in-law being at the coronation but there may be some restrictions due to the feud between Harry and Camilla. “There is no doubt that Charles would like Harry and Meghan to be at his coronation,” Nicholl said. “And to be fair to Charles, he has been magnanimous in terms of extending, very publicly, olive branches to the Sussexes,” she noted. “Not only in his televised accession address but also putting them front and center at the funeral events.” She continued“But he does expect respect in return, and a problem is going to arise if, between now and then, Harry repays him by attacking him, Camilla or the institution,” continued Nicholl. “He is not going to put up with inaccurate and unfair attacks.”

In his first speech as king in 2022, Charles addressed the changes in titles for his family. He first addressed his wife Camilla as “Queen Consort.” Then he proceeded to talk about his son, William’s, new title. “As my Heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades,” Charles continued. “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.” Tywysog Cymru means Prince of Wales in Welsh.

Charles then acknowledged Harry and his wife, Meghan. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.” Unlike his brother, Harry and Meghan will remain Duke and Duchess of Sussex because they have no official obligations to the monarchy. However, their children Archie and Lilibet have the automatic right to the HRH (His or Her Royal Highness) titles as Prince and Princess respectively after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Is Prince Harry attending King Charles’ coronation?

Is Prince Harry attending King Charles’ coronation? Prince Harry will be attending King Charles’ coronation without his wife Meghan Markle. Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, that the Duke of Sussex will be at the crowning ceremony of the King and Queen Camilla at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6. “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” they said in the statement.

According to a source close to Harry, he “wanted to be at the service to support his father at this important moment in his life,” the source told People. However, it is likely that Prince Harry will not attend the other events surrounding his father’s coronation.

Why is Meghan Markle not going to King Charles’ coronation?

Meghan Markle Harry
Image: by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Why is Meghan Markle not going to King Charles’ coronation? The official reason is that she will be celebrating Archie’s fourth birthday in California with her children, which falls on the same day. However, it’s likely that she’s not attending due to all the drama that’s been happening between the Sussexes and the Royal Family.

Omid Scobie—who worked with Meghan and Prince Harry for his book about them, Finding Freedom—told UK TV’s This Morning on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, that Markle was only using son Prince Archie’s fourth birthday as an excuse to stay in California, adding that he figured the royal family would be “relieved” she’s not attending, per Page Six.

“I would put it down to the fact that so much of the attention then goes on someone who they would rather the attention didn’t go onto,” he claimed of the duchess. “If you look back at some of Meghan and Harry’s biggest problems, it was all down to the fact that everyone was always talking about them and the attention was on them at times when it shouldn’t have been.” He continued: “People around the Sussexes guided press … that this is very much about Archie’s fourth birthday,” he told the UK Breakfast show. “I disagree with that,” he said.

“At this point, it’s become so personal,” a close friend of the former Royals told People. “Maybe what they wanted wasn’t achieved, but at the end of the day, he’s going there to support his dad.” The outlet reported that Charlies is “pleased” his son will be there, even though his wife won’t be there at all.  The source emphasized that “things are strained” between the family members but Harry  “will happily go along with whatever the plan is” and that his main concern about attending was the issue of his security, which has been addressed. A palace insider also told them what they think Harry will do once he gets back to California, “He will look back on it and think it is better to come and play his part and say, ‘I saw my father crowned,'” says a source close to the royal household. “And tell his children about it.”

Though a source who’s a friend of the Sussexes also said that Meghan wanted to be at the coronation, but certain circumstances impacted the trip. “Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support,” the source says. “There’s always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?”

Several royal experts put in their two cents as to why Meghan couldn’t come. “It’s an elegant solution,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith told PEOPLE. She told the outlet that Archie’s birthday “gave them a reasonable out for Meghan not to come.”

Tessa Dunlop told Us Weekly that Harry’s body language at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral was indicative of his reliance of Meghan. “I was watching the body language when he came out of St George’s Chapel when [Queen Elizabeth II] had finally been laid to rest [in September 2022] on the last day of the funeral itself. He was helping Meghan into the car and he just wasn’t a man who was comfortable in his skin,” she continued. “And this time he’s coming over without the support of Meghan.” She continued, “Clearly he does lean on her 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,” she detailed to Us. “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.”

She also echoed the same sentiment of security which was a major issue that was highlighted in Harry and Meghan’s documentary. “An insider tells me that they were a bit concerned about her security and the response [from the public]. They can’t control [what] the public would’ve given her — which would paint Britain in a very bad light too,” she said to Us about how potential protection would have “cost a fortune.”

Dunlop also talked about how there was a double standard when it came to Meghan attending the Coronation. “She would’ve been damned if she did and damned if she didn’t,” the royal expert said. “Harry’s authored [their] history. Meghan’s very much taken a backseat over the last few months. And Harry’s front footed [the narrative].”

A source told Daily Mail in December 2022 that Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are welcome to attend King Charles’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in London because they’re family. “Harry is his son and His Majesty will always love him,” the insider said. “While things are difficult at the moment, the door will always be left ajar.”

According to a source quoted in Us Weekly, Charles was “sad” his daughter-in-law wouldn’t be there. “Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance. Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them,” a source said, “but is thrilled [Prince] Harry will be in attendance.”

When is King Charles’ coronation?

King Charles III
Image: Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images

When is King Charles III’s coronation? Buckingham Palace confirmed the date of King Charles III’s coronation will be on May 6, 2023. Royal tradition dictates that the country will remain in mourning for an appropriate period of time following the passing of the former monarch and many sources speculated that the coronation would take place a couple of months following Queen Elizabeth’s passing. Queen Elizabeth, herself, ascended to the throne on February 16, 1952, but was crowned 16 months after her father King George VI passed. King Charles III’s coronation isn’t expected to be as far away as Queen Elizabeth’s. The Telegraph predicted before Buckingham Palace’s announcement that King Charles III’s coronation would take place in the spring or summer of 2023. There was also speculation that the coronation would take place on the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation or the day after on June 3, 2023.

How long will King Charles III’s coronation be?

How long will King Charles III’s coronation be? King Charles III’s coronation will be significantly shorter than Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. The new King’s ceremony will only take place for just over an hour while Queen Elizabeth’s took over three hours. The ceremony is supposedly shortened due to the King’s age and a reflection of a more modern monarchy.

Where will King Charles III’s coronation take place?

King Charles
Image: Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Where will King Charles III’s Coronation take place? It’s expected that King Charles III’s coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey where the coronation is traditionally held. The subsequent activities will take place at Buckingham Palace for the traditional waving at the balcony with Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton who took their place as the Prince and Princess of Wales. They’ll be accompanied by their children George, Charlotte and Louis.

How many people will attend King Charles III’s coronation?

King Charles III
Image: Henry Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images

How many people will attend King Charles III’s coronation? It is expected that over 2,000 people will attend King Charles III’s coronation. The number is significantly less than Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation when over 8,000 people saw her take the crown in 1953. People who are not guaranteed spots at the coronation include members of Parliament and peers. Sources told The Telegraph that the people who are invited will be representatives of different faiths and community groups. Commonwealth leaders and diversity of religions will be prioritized among the congregation. The King is also said to have expressed a wish that it reflects the ethnic diversity of modern Britain. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Mather told Daily Mail the reasoning behind the new invites, “There are about 700 peers, well they won’t all be there,” he said. “The same with MPs: they won’t all be present because he’s not being crowned for them. He’s being crowned for the people.”

How will King Charles III’s coronation differ from Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation?

King Charles III
Image: Polly Thomas/Getty Images

How will King Charles III’s coronation differ from Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation? King Charles III is expected to cut back different aspects and rituals of the traditional coronation to reflect the monarchy in a modern setting. According to The Daily Mail, the presentation of gold is likely to be axed from the ceremony where ‘an ingot or wedge of gold of a pound weight’ was presented to the monarch by the Lord Great Chamberlain before being placed upon the altar. A source told the outlet, “In an age where people are feeling the pinch, this is not going to happen.” In the same vein, King Charles III reportedly expressed the wish that the service is considered “good value” and the service will not be as expensive as expected.

What will King Charles III wear at the coronation?

King Charles III
Image: Dominic Lipinski for WPA Pool/Getty Images

What will King Charles III wear at the coronation? According to Crisscut Magazine, Charles will be wearing jewelry that is estimated at $4.2 billion. The gemstones include the “St. Edwards Crown, Sovereign’s Ring, Imperial State Crown, Sovereign’s Sceptre with dove, Sovereign’s Sceptre with the cross, Sovereign’s Orb, Gold Ampulla, the Spurs, and the Sword of Offering.” The iconic St. Edwards Crown is made of solid gold and has more than 400 gemstones, including rubies, garnets and sapphires.

Spare by Prince Harry

Spare by Prince Harry
Courtesy of: Random House

For more about Prince Harry, read his upcoming memoir, Spare. Told for the first time in his own words, the book takes readers through the Duke of Sussex’s life with the British royal family, from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 to how the moment led to his decision decades later to move to America with his wife, Meghan Markle, and leave Buckingham Palace for good in 2020. “With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the publisher’s description reads.

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