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Prince Harry will skip his father’s coronation concert

By Sarah May
|
April 20, 2023

As the historic coronation of Britain's King Charles III approaches, news has emerged that while Prince Harry – after months of uncertainty – will be in attendance at the Westminster Abbey ceremony itself, he will not be present for the star-studded concert set for the following day, as the Daily Mail reports.

Travel plans for Harry – also known as the Duke of Sussex – have been up in the air for quite some time in the wake of his controversial memoir, Spare, a Netflix docuseries made together with his wife, Meghan Markle, and a host of incendiary allegations made by the duo against the Royal Family.

Coronation decision made

It was recently revealed that after much indecision and speculation, Prince Harry will make the trans-Atlantic journey for his father's coronation next month.

However, as the BBC noted, he will be traveling alone, with his wife and two children – Archie and Lilibet – remaining behind in California, with the pair's son's birthday falling on the same day as the marquee event.

Harry and Meghan had reportedly been keeping Buckingham Palace – and indeed the world – in suspense as to their intentions surrounding the event, even missing the formal deadline for RSVPs.

There were also suggestions that the couple was attempting – ultimately unsuccessfully – to secure their spot for the traditional balcony appearance with the rest of King Charles' close family.

Short stay planned

The latest twist in the “will they or won't they saga” came when it was revealed by Royal sources that Harry's foray into London will be an extremely brief one, as the Mail noted.

Those sources say that Harry informed his father that while he will indeed be in attendance for the event that has been decades in the making, he will depart almost as soon as he arrives.

Specifically, Harry reportedly has no intention of joining the rest of the family for the celebrity-packed Windsor Castle concert set for May 7.

Instead, sources say that Harry will be jetting back to California almost immediately to help celebrate – in a slightly belated fashion – Archie's fourth birthday.

“A great shame”

The Mail noted that a source explained to the U.K. Mirror, “Harry said that he would be returning for the King's coronation, but it will only be a fleeting visit.”

“Organizers have been told Harry won't be attending the concert with the rest of the Royal family, which is a great shame as it will be such a spectacular event,” the source added.

A report in the BBC revealed that the concert will feature a roster of international stars, including Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, opera star Andrea Bocelli, Sir Bryn Terfel, a number of special choirs, and more, as the Mail added.

The festivities are slated to be broadcast across the country on television and radio, with 20,000 set to attend in person.

Non-existent role

Given that Harry is no longer considered a “working” member of the Royal family, he will have no official part in the coronation ceremony or its attendant procession.

Rather, Charles has reportedly been keen to put a sharper focus on the heir to the throne, William Prince of Wales, as well as his son, Prince George, as the Daily Mail reported separately.

In addition, Charles has also determined that his wife, Camilla, will also play a “central" role in the historic proceedings, as the Express noted, by having a crowning ceremony all her own and enjoying the official participation of several of her grandchildren during the events.

Whether the Sussexes' decision for just one half of the couple to travel to England for the coronation was borne out of fear of backlash, booing, and embarrassment over their prior conduct toward Harry's relatives or truly was the product of conflicting familial obligations, royal watchers across the globe may truly never know.