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King Charles toasts grandson Archie after coronation, expresses sadness over Harry’s departure

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 8, 2023

King Charles III made a heartwarming tribute to his grandson, Archie, during a post-coronation family buffet at Buckingham Palace. 

Although Prince Harry chose to attend Archie's fourth birthday celebration in California over the coronation lunch, King Charles III raised a toast to wish Archie a happy birthday, acknowledging his absence.

Prince Harry's Absence

Prince Harry was invited to the family lunch but decided to celebrate his son's birthday in California instead. 

A well-placed source told Daily Mail that most members of the Royal Family were relieved that Harry didn't attend, as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have repeatedly criticized the family in interviews, podcasts, memoirs, and their Netflix docuseries. 

However, the King, 74, seemed "genuinely quite disappointed" that he didn't stay. 

Meghan, 41, skipped the coronation entirely, remained in the U.S. with Archie and daughter Lilibet, and organized a small party for friends and family.

King Charles Heartfelt Toast

Before the meal began, Prince William congratulated his father on the momentous occasion. 

King Charles thanked everyone who worked hard to make the day special. 

King Charles III first toasted the three grandchildren present at the event – Prince William's children, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Prince George, who served as Page of Honour. 

The newly crowned King then raised a toast to his exiled grandson Prince Archie, wishing him a happy fourth birthday "wherever he was."

Prince Harry's Low-Key Presence at the Coronation

Prince Harry, who has written about feeling like a "spare" to his older brother and heir to the throne, Prince William, maintained a low-key presence during the coronation events. 

He sat in the third row of Westminster Abbey with distant relatives and did not interact with his father or brother. Following the coronation, he quickly returned to the U.S.

Prince Harry's absence extended beyond the coronation lunch, as he also missed street parties and a large concert held on Sunday to honor the newly crowned King. 

Additionally, he will not participate in "The Big Help Out" on Monday, a public holiday in the UK for the coronation, where royals and politicians will join a day of volunteering.

Upcoming Events

Following the ceremony and family events, King Charles III traveled to his country home in Highgrove for rest, while Queen Camilla also departed London. 

The king and queen are anticipated to attend a VIP after-party at Windsor Castle, which will host family, friends, and several star performers from the upcoming coronation concert, such as Lionel Richie, Take That, and Katy Perry.