After months of rumors, Prince Harry ultimately attended his father’s coronation at the weekend. The Duke of Sussex traveled to London, participated in the coronation, and left within an hour to return to the US and reunite with Meghan and their two children.
Beforehand, much of the talk had been as to whether Harry, his brother Prince William, and his father King Charles would have a chance to sit down and make amends. Needless to say, their current rift has shaken the monarchy to its very core.
As mentioned, Harry decided not to stay for the private coronation lunch and a chance to meet with his family. But that didn’t stop William from reportedly taking a dig at both his brother and Meghan Markle.
Suffice it to say that the relationship between William and the Sussexes is nowhere close to being repaired…
Prince Harry and Royal Family aren’t exactly on good terms, that much we know. When Harry and Meghan left the Firm, a chain of events was set into motion that has caused serious disruption within the royal sphere.
Things quickly turned sour when Harry and Meghan began verbally attacking the Royal Family and its members. Amongst their more serious claims was how one, unnamed, royal had posed a question over the potential skin color of the Sussexes’s then-unborn child, Archie. Moreover, they stated that the royals didn’t help Meghan with her mental health problems, and that she had been mistreated for a long time.
Harry & William’s relationship – the brothers didn’t speak during coronation
Following an Oprah Winfrey interview, their Netflix show, and Harry’s memoir, Spare, many assumed that things would be frosty between Harry and Meghan and the Royal Family moving forward. Indeed, that has proven true, particularly where Harry’s relationship with his brother, Prince William, is concerned.
The two met at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, but apparently didn’t do anything to try and make amends. There was no eye contact or acknowledgment between the siblings as they walked behind the Queen’s coffin, and no meeting seemed to occur after their grandmother was laid to rest.
With King Charles set to be crowned on May 6, speculation ran rampant leading up to the coronation regarding if Harry and Meghan would be invited – and if they would then even attend. Ultimately, both received an invitation, though Meghan decided to stay in the US with the couple’s two children (this was in part due to Archie’s birthday falling on the same day as the coronation).
Harry arrived in London on the day of the coronation, with reports insisting his trip to the UK would be a brief one.
Months ago, it was rumored that other members of the Royal Family didn’t want Harry anywhere near them during the coronation. That particular stance seemed to have cooled, as Harry was seated just two rows behind Prince William, Kate Middleton, and two of their three children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Prince George had a much more prominent role, as he was one of the Pages of Honor.
Harry’s verdict on royals – said he’s “fed up”
During the coronation, Harry sat next to his cousin, Princess Eugenie – the only royal to have visited Harry and Meghan in the US – and her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
While seated in the Abbey, Harry spoke at length with his cousin and her husband before the proceedings began, greeting several guests and seeming to be in good spirits.
Though he might not be a fan of the monarchy anymore, he joined the other guests in one of many refrains of “God Save The King.”
But before the ceremony at Westminster Abbey had even started, it appeared as though Harry had already made up his mind about the Royal Family and what might happen moving forward.
Prince William and King Charles have reportedly chosen not to read Spare, Harry’s explosive tell-all memoir in which he attacked the royals several times. His relationships with his brother and father are naturally at a low point, and there was reportedly no sign of the trio reconciling while Harry was in the UK.
Speaking with The Sun, lip-reading expert Jerey Freeman picked up several things Harry is said to have told Brooksbank before the coronation ceremony began. According to him, the Duke was moaning, muttering: “I’m fed up with the way they treat me.”
Moreover, Freeman caught Harry saying: “It’s not an ideal situation.”
“They don’t care.”
Jack Brooksbank replied: “If I can make you feel any better, and even I can do it. It’s not the quiet life, is it?”
“They don’t care,” Harry answered.
Jack Brooksbank added: “I haven’t time for that, not if it’s over…”
“It’s an eventuality,” Harry concluded.
While in Westminster Abbey, Harry wore a black custom Dior three-piece suit with coattails. An honorary cross hung around his neck, and he had military medals pinned to the left side of his chest.
The star around his neck indicates he is the “Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order” (RVO). Moreover, it honors his personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth. Harry isn’t a working member of the Royal Family anymore, so he is not permitted to wear his military uniform. Instead, he wore his Afghanistan service medals and golden, diamond, and platinum jubilee medals on his medal bar.
Prince Harry didn’t directly interact with his brother, Prince William, or King Charles during the big day. However, according to language expert Judi James, Harry made a gesture to “ignore” his brother once he arrived at the Abbey.
“Harry performed what looked like an oddly-times act of ignore or attention diversion as his father, brother, and sister-in-law walked in a procession in front of him,” James told the Mirror.
“Harry had been chatting animatedly to [Princess Beatrice’s husband] Edoardo, jerking a thumb over his shoulder at one point, sharing a giggling laugh that seemed to involve his tongue placed between his teeth, and then doing a mutual, mirrored eye gaze with a matching lip clamp smile to Edo that seemed to signal mutual sympathy or empathy.”
King Charles’ Archie tribute at coronation lunch – he was “disappointed” that Harry wasn’t there
The body language expert concluded: “Harry was looking up as Charles, William and Kate arrived to walk past, but after looking at his father, Harry turned his head to speak to Eduardo again in a very odd way at a crucial point in the ceremony when all eyes and attention were on Charles and William’s arrival.”
Harry and Meghan reportedly had several demands if they were to attend the coronation, including an acknowledgment of Archie’s birthday, which fell on the same day.
Despite their grievances, King Charles wanted to acknowledge his grandson’s birthday. So, during lunch at Buckingham Palace following the coronation ceremony, Charles mentioned Archie in his pre-meal toast. According to a Daily Mail source, the king paid homage to “those that weren’t there” and wished Archie a happy birthday “wherever he was.”
“It was apparently a very sweet moment,” the source said.
Harry, though, was nowhere to be seen.
According to PA News agency, Harry got in a car outside Westminster Abbey immediately after the coronation service had finished. He then boarded a British Airways flight and was back in Los Angeles at 19:30 local time on Saturday. Harry intended to make every effort to return in time to tuck Archie into bed on his birthday.
The fact that he did not stay in the UK for the private lunch reportedly left Charles “genuinely disappointed,” the source told Daily Mail. However, other Royal Family members “breathed a sigh of relief” that Harry had left.
Prince William took dig at Harry & Meghan in coronation concert speech
On Sunday, the day after the ceremony, a big coronation concert was held at Windsor.
Artists like Take That – without Robbie Williams – Lionel Richie and Katy Perry performed. A “coronation choir,” a diverse group of community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK, including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups, and deaf signing choirs, were also part of the lineup.
Ten thousand people, drawn from a ticket ballot, were in the audience, including volunteers from charities affiliated with King Charles and Queen Camilla, as well as, of course, the royals themselves.
Prince William held a speech in front of a big crowd, praising his father, who he referred to as “Pa.” He also paid tribute to his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who he said would be a “proud mum” watching her son’s coronation. William couldn’t help but throw a dad joke into his speech as well.
“I want to say a few words about my father and why I believe this weekend is so important. But don’t worry, unlike Lionel, I won’t go on all night long,” the future king joked, in a nod to performer Lionel Richie and his hit All Night Long.
But William didn’t only speak about the royals who were there. As per reports, he appeared to take a cold dig at Harry and Meghan for leaving the Royal Family behind.
“For all that celebrations are magnificent, at the heart of the pageantry is a simple message – service,” William said.
So why was that significant? Well, when Harry and Meghan left the Royal Family, a part of their statement read, “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Later in his speech, William doubled down on his commitment to service.
William “not at all interested” in seeing his brother
“I commit myself to serve you all. King, Country and Commonwealth. God Save The King,” he said.
As mentioned, Harry and William didn’t speak or even acknowledge each other during the coronation. Whether the two would have wanted to have a sit down or not, we can’t pretend to know.
Christopher Andersen, the author of The King, told Fox that Harry “must have felt the slightest tinge of regret” as he watched his father being crowned and his brother pledging his allegiance.”
Andersen also stated that the brothers didn’t seem interested in interacting with each other.
“Frankly, to keep his sanity, he has to keep telling himself he made the right decision by bailing on the royal family,” Andersen told Fox.
“Harry appeared to have no interaction with King Charles, Queen Camilla or William and Kate,” he continued.
“For his part, William seemed not at all interested in acknowledging his brother and vice versa – that is how broken this relationship is. The UK still holds a great deal of affection for Harry, and I’m sure the people would love to see him back in the royal fold. It just seems sad that at a time when his countrymen and women are celebrating his father’s coronation, Harry could not wait to hop on a plane and get back to Montecito.”
British broadcaster and royal expert Ian Pelham Turner told the same news outlet that tensions were high between the brothers.
“William and Harry are playing with fire”
He argued that it’s not up to King Charles to help the brothers make amends, as the monarch, according to “many experts,” is too weak.
“Great Britain cannot afford to have a royal family which is fragmented and not representing the true values of the people,” Turner said.
“In my opinion, it is not [William and Harry’s] right to behave in such a dishonorable way.”
“It will be resolved if the people of Great Britain turn their backs on the new king and show the [same] disdain … currently being played out in the public arena by the two brothers,” he added. “In my opinion, William and Harry are playing with fire, which could erupt the whole house of Windsor in flames,” he concluded.
What do you think? Should Harry have stayed to spend some time with his family, or do you believe that their relationship is beyond fixing?
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