A key historic moment at the King’s Coronation is expected to be missed by Prince Harry and Meghan if the two are unable to patch up their relationship with the Royal Family before the event. A weekend full to the brim of pomp and ceremony, from Saturday, May 6 to Monday, May 8, has been unveiled by Buckingham Palace – with the centrepiece being something royal fans will already be familiar with.
The Coronation ceremony itself will be held in Westminster Abbey, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on Saturday, May 6. Following this, the Royal Family will step out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace in a historic moment as King Charles appears in public after officially being crowned.
However, as things currently stand, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are unlikely to be part of the line-up of family members joining him. This would mirror the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last summer, where despite her grandson’s presence at the festivities, he and his wife were not invited to join her on the balcony.
This places Harry and Meghan in the same category as Prince Andrew, who similarly missed out on the balcony moment during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations – and according to the Mail on Sunday, King Charles will adopt a similar protocol for his Coronation.
The official reason for their absences is that Prince Andrew, Harry and Meghan are all no longer working royals. A senior royal insider said that it would be “unlikely” that Harry and Meghan would be included in major public appearances, including the balcony moment.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “It is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry.”
Recent media appearances – most notably, Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare – has seen relations between the royals and the Sussexes sour. The King is himself not spared from Harry’s revealing stories. The Prince alleges that when he was born, Charles’ first response to Diana was: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare – my work is done.”
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Charles is described as similarly emotionally distant for the rest of the book, often failing to have important discussions with Harry and only able to express himself through letters left on his son’s pillow. Meanwhile, Harry alleges that William physically assaulted him and that Meghan and Kate frequently clashed, with the Princess of Wales characterised as jealous of the Duchess of Sussex.
It is not yet known whether Harry and Meghan, who stepped down as working royals in January 2020, will attend the Coronation in any capacity – although the Prince has issued an ultimatum to the palace on the subject.
When asked if he will be attending, he told ITV’s Tom Bradby: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, you know, the door is always open. The – the ball is in their court.
“There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they can – that they are willing to sit down and talk about it, because there’s a lot that’s happened in six years. And prior to that as well.”
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Royal biographer Ingrid Seward is more confident Harry and Meghan will be invited, telling the Sun on Sunday: “Will Harry and Meghan be invited? Of course. Harry will attend, as how can you write a book about forgiveness and not turn up to your dad’s Coronation? Meghan, I am not so sure.”
The day after the coronation ceremony, a celebratory concert will be held at Windsor Castle.
Members of the public will have the chance to attend the concert – which the Palace has said will have “some of the world’s biggest entertainers” – by entering a ballot.
A palace spokesman said: “Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort hope the Coronation Weekend will provide an opportunity to spend time and celebrate with friends, families and communities across the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. Their Majesties are looking forward to marking the occasion with the public throughout 2023.”