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King Charles to remove spotlight from Harry, Meghan with focus on grandson at his coronation

By Sarah May
|
February 26, 2023

Though much discussion related to the upcoming coronation of Britain's King Charles III has centered on whether his disgruntled second son, Prince Harry, will be in attendance, new reports suggest that the new monarch is instead focused on making his grandson and future king, Prince George, a key focus of the events, as the Daily Mail reports.

The insights into King Charles' intentions came during an episode of the Mail's series Palace Confidential featuring Dr. Tessa Dunlop and royal reporter Richard Eden.

Focus on direct succession

Reports have persisted for some time that King Charles has plans to streamline the monarchy and trim the ranks of those taking prominent roles, and according to Dunlop, those intentions will come through loud and clear during the coronation.

A number of those considered to be “working” royals will indeed be part of the procession into Westminster Abbey in May, Dunlop maintained, but the true emphasis will be unmistakably placed on Prince William – also known as the Duke of Cambridge – and his nine-year-old son, Prince George, who also made prominent appearances during funeral events honoring the late Queen Elizabeth II.

“They want to keep it focused on that line of succession,” Dunlop insisted.

As such, she continued, “we're going to see a lot of camera shots of Charles, of William, of George.”

Overshadowing the Sussexes

Discussion of Prince George's role in the coronation comes as speculation continues to swirl about whether Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle – also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – will be present for the most significant moment in his father's life, or if their self-imposed estrangement from the family will keep them stateside.

In the wake of the pair's explosive and disparaging revelations in a Netflix docuseries, a Spotify podcast, and an incendiary memoir titled Spare, sources suggest that Meghan and Harry are “in limbo” about how to approach the coronation.

Royal sources have suggested that King Charles has been holding out hope that arrangements could be made such that Harry would indeed travel to London for the coronation, despite William's lingering reservations and distrust of his younger brother's motives.

Harry, for his part, has indicated a desire to reconcile with his family members, but only if they extend a formal apology to him and his wife for a spate of perceived offenses, but insiders now suggest that the couple is concerned about either being accused of snubbing the royals if they do not attend or being booed and branded hypocrites if they do appear.

Door remains open

Though there has been no official word as to whether the Sussexes plan to make the trip to England this spring, the Mail reports that those attending are expected to RSVP by early April.

Royal sources have stated that Harry and Meghan, should they attend, will be given no special role or status in the proceedings, and they would not be permitted to appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace alongside the ranks of working royals.

Insiders also told the Mail that measures would almost certainly be taken to ensure that Harry is not placed in close proximity to his brother during public events, given the reported animosity that endures between the two.

Other sources have floated the possibility that Harry would fly to London solo and remain only for a brief 48-hour window of time – just long enough to attend the crowning itself, and considering recent polling that shows that a majority of Brits would still like the king's second son to be present for the coronation, perhaps such an itinerary represents an agreeable middle ground for all involved.

Camilla to take center stage

Regardless of what the Sussexes decide, King Charles is reportedly focusing not just on William and Charles as key players in the coronation process but is also said to be planning a “central” role for Queen Consort Camilla, to whom he has been married since 2005.

The U.K Express reports that Camilla will have high visibility throughout the coronation events, a fact which marks a noteworthy departure from previous eras.

Specifically, Camilla is said to be receiving a crowning ceremony all her own, something many would have thought inconceivable up until very recently.

The Express quoted royal historian Kate Williams, who said, “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... . It's clear Charles wants it to be a joint coronation.”