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Harry and Meghan will not be allowed on the King’s balcony at his coronation

By Sarah May
|
April 7, 2023

As anticipation grows ahead of the May 6 coronation of Great Britain's King Charles III, it has been confirmed that should the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – also known as Harry and Meghan – decide to attend the ceremony, they will not be permitted to join other family members for the traditional appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony, as the Daily Mail reports.

That news comes as reports suggest that the controversial pair, now living in California, have yet to inform royal staff as to whether they do plan to travel to London for the historic occasion, despite the RSVP deadline having already passed.

Balcony appearance denied

The U.K. Mirror, quoting a source who spoke to OK magazine, explained that soon after King Charles has been officially crowned in Westminster Abbey, a grand procession will take place that will culminate at Buckingham Palace.

Once the monarch reaches the Palace, he will ascend to the famous balcony and wave to the crowds of subjects who have gathered to witness the occasion.

Typically, the monarch is joined in this activity by other members of the royal family and their children, and the precise list of those who will be included this time around has reportedly become a bone of contention for the Sussexes, given that, according to an inside source, “[t]his is where Harry and Meghan have requested inclusion.”

“Harry and Meghan are keen that they too should be part of that special family moment,” the source said, but that wish will apparently go unfulfilled.

Working royals only

However, as the Mail reports, the decision has already been made that the only family members set to appear on the balcony on coronation day are those who are considered “working royals,” a category from which the Sussexes deliberately removed themselves when they left the U.K. to build a new life in America and began lobbing incendiary accusations against the royal family in a host of media endeavors.

To be considered a “working royal,” according to the U.K.'s Metro, one would need to be among the select group of family members who regularly represent the King at official engagements by meeting with dignitaries, hosting dinners and other events, bestowing honors, opening buildings, attending parliamentary functions, and carrying out similar tasks.

The outlet noted that by restricting the balcony appearance to a group of roughly 15 working royals and, presumably, their children, there would be no room left for Harry, Meghan, their son, or their daughter.

Accordingly, the roster of royals likely to stand on the balcony with the King and Queen next month include the Prince and Princess of Wales – also known as William and Catherine and their three children, Princess Anne and her husband, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and their children, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, as Metro further noted.

Sussexes stay mum

The failure of Harry and Meghan to inform the palace of their plans regarding the coronation has been met with frustration, according to the Mail, with one source noting, “Everything is still up in the air and there's only a month to go.”

“All people have been told is that 'it should hopefully be resolved soon.' But in the meantime, the teams are trying to finalize plans for 2,000 guests, many of whom are international heads of state and VIPs. It's a headache,” the source added.

A Palace staffer noted, “Switching things like seating arrangements are fairly easy. But the thing that is causing more of a headache, is the security, cars and other logistical matters. Any plans that mesh with the rest of the family are more important and problematic.”

Another source told GB News that the situation has exacerbated existing tensions between the Duke of Sussex and his brother, the Prince of Wales, saying, “William is baffled by Harry not publicly saying that he is coming to the coronation, especially since everyone thinks he will be there. Relations have never been this bad, and it feels like Harry is just stringing it out to try and be difficult, frankly.”

Camilla ascends

In other coronation news, it was revealed this week that after having been referred to as “Queen Consort” since the passing of Queen of Elizabeth II last year, King Charles' wife will be known simply as Queen Camilla after the proceedings in May, as the U.K. Telegraph reports.

The Express noted earlier this year that Camilla would receive a position of unprecedented visibility throughout the coronation events, with some of her grandchildren also being afforded high profile roles, and the tweak in her title appears to reflect that fact.

In a noteworthy departure from past coronations, Camilla is poised to receive a crowning ceremony all her own, a notion that royal experts would have previously thought almost inconceivable.

As royal historian Kate Williams recently noted, “Five years ago or so, the official line of the palace would be that she wouldn't be crowned, but now it's been made very clear that she will have a central role in the proceedings, and this will be going right back to the coronation in 1937 of George VI and the Queen Mother,” adding, “[i]t's clear Charles wants it to be a joint coronation.”