Prince Harry will finally travel from the United States to London to attend the coronation of his father, King Carlos IIIalthough his wife Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex) will stay in their California home.
The confirmation that the prince will attend was highly anticipated by the organizers of the event, who had to solve protocol and security issues. Palace officials had said that the uncertainty about his presence was causing “headaches”.
The journalist Omid Scoobie, a friend and biographer of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said that since the coronation coincides with the birthday of Prince Archie (Harry’s eldest son), the Duke will simply attend the ceremony in “a fairly quick trip to the United Kingdom”.
Harry, 34 years old, and will have no role in the ceremony, which will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey. He, too, will not be seen on the palace balcony when the royal family greets the crowds and watches an air parade, an honor limited to 15 royal workers.
Coronation of Carlos III: absence of Meghan, carriages, guests, jewels and everything that is known about the event
“Harry coming alone means less pressure on the royal family, and less of those awkward photos together,” said ITV News royal journalist and editor Chris Ship.
His brother, the prince William will be the only “royal lord” at the ceremony, and only he will kneel to “pay homage” to the new monarchbefore touching the crown and kissing his father’s cheek.
This role is usually played by all the males in the royal family, but Charles III did away with this custom, effectively absolving Prince Harry of any role in the ceremonial.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to live in California at the beginning of 2020 and they maintain very tense relations with the royal family. They would have delayed their confirmation to the ceremony, causing problems for the event organizers.
In 2021, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the royal family of racism in an interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey after they stepped down from their royal duties. Prince William responded furiously: “We are not at all a racist family“.
According to a British journalist, Meghan’s absence is very welcome in the UK: “Carlos will be pleased. The rest of the family will be relieved that Meghan is not there, it would have been particularly awkward for Kate.”
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In Buckingham Palace everything is “chaos and frenzy”
At Buckingham Palace, everything is “total chaos and frenzy” just three weeks before the coronation. And it is that although the event has been prepared for decades by the Duke of Norfolk and the Archbishop of Canterbury, things are not easy, even for the meticulous British.
This was revealed by court sources, who explained to The Daily Mail that the preparations are going smoothly but they clarified: “There’s a plan, which is supposed to be the blueprint for how the day should work, but things change daily, which is causing huge headaches.”
Another official from the royal court assured that everyone at the Palace is working hard to ensure that the event runs as it should: “Everyone is pulling in the right direction,” he told The Mirror. “The King and Queen want everything to be perfect, as does everyone involved, so everything possible is being done to make it so.”
The ceremony will take place on May 6 at 11am (London time) and promises to be “solemn and religious” while offering “celebration and pomp”, according to the Royal Family website. Westminster Abbey in London will bring together 2,000 people, including political leaders and foreign monarchs, so organizing the transfer and security can be a headache.
The coronation will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and will “reflect the role of the Monarch today and look to the future, while taking root in long-standing traditions,” the palace said. Prince George will attend his grandfather as a “page of honor”, carrying the coronation mantle along with three other aristocrats.
A court statement said in October 2022: “The coronation will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future, while taking root in long-standing traditions and pageantry.”
He added: “The coronation is a solemn religious service, along with an occasion for celebration and pomp. The ceremony retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and this year’s coronation is expected to include the same core elements while acknowledging the spirit of our time.”
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