Prince Harry’s attendance at coronation remains uncertain despite contact from officials
Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, reacts as she, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Queen Camilla and King Charles attend the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022.
Toby Melville | Reuters
King Charles III’s office has been in touch with Prince Harry about the new monarch’s coronation, raising the possibility the prince will attend the historic ceremony despite tensions within the royal family.
If Harry and his wife, Meghan, were to attend the May 6 coronation at Westminster Abbey in London, it would be the first meeting between Charles and his younger son since Harry deepened the rift within the House of Windsor by revealing family secrets in his bestselling book, “Spare.”
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, confirmed Sunday that Harry had received “email correspondence” from the king’s office about the coronation. Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time,” the couple’s office said in a statement.
Speculation about whether Harry and Meghan would be invited to the coronation has raged since the release of Harry’s explosive memoir, which contained damning allegations of intrigue behind the palace walls.
The disclosures, including details of private conversations with his father and brother, Prince William, fanned tensions between Harry and his family that became public when he and his wife moved to North America in 2020.
The book also included allegations that members of the royal family regularly feed the press unflattering information about other members of the House of Windsor in exchange for positive coverage of themselves.
The prince singled out Camilla, the queen consort, accusing her of leaking private conversations to the media as she sought to rehabilitate her image after marrying Charles. Camilla was once reviled for her long-term affair with Charles, which contributed to the breakdown of his marriage to the late Prince Diana, Harry and William’s mother.
The acrimony between Harry and his family once again spilled into public view this week when the Sussexes acknowledged they were asked to vacate their home in Britain.
Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle west of London, was the couple’s main residence before they gave up royal duties and moved to Montecito, a wealthy enclave in Southern California.
The Sun newspaper reported that Charles asked them to relinquish the dwelling on Jan. 11, the day after Harry’s memoir was published.
But issues other than the book may have sparked the request.
Charles, who became king after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September, has said he plans to cut the number of working royals and reduce the cost of the monarchy as he seeks to modernize the 1,000-year-old institution in hopes of ensuring its survival.
With Harry and Meghan now living in California, leaving a royal residence without occupants so they have a place to stay on their occasional visits to the U.K. may have been seen as a bad look.
Harry, meanwhile, continues to share his personal experiences and critique of the royal family as he promotes his book.
While taking part Saturday in a live-streamed conversation with Dr. Gabor Mate, author of “The Myth Of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing In A Toxic Culture,” the prince discussed his past drug use and said he had urged other members of the family to have therapy.
He said criticism of “Spare” won’t make him silent because talking about these issues has helped him deal with the trauma in his life.
“The more they criticize, the more they comment, the more I feel the need to share,” Harry said. “I found a way to be able to look around, and firstly ignore, the criticisms and the abuse.”