Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Reportedly Won't Be In Coronation Procession
Leaked rehearsal plans for King Charles’ coronation on May 6th have revealed that there is currently no place for Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan Markle, 41, in the procession following the King’s crowning in Westminster Abbey. Does this mean that they have RSVPd ‘no,’ or does it just mean that their alleged long list of demands – which reportedly included armed police protection, a face-to-face meeting with Prince Harry’s father and brother, and involvement in the ceremony, as well as a balcony appearance – has not been met?
READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey Encourages Prince Harry And Meghan Markle To ‘Do What’s Best’ For Themselves After Coronation Invitation
What Else Do The Leaked Plans Show About The Coronation Procession?
According to The Times, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren’t the only ones who appear to be missing from the procession, as disgraced royal Prince Andrew, 63, as well as his two daughters Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie, 32, will not be taking part either, leading everyone to believe that perhaps King Charles, 74, only wanted official working royals to participate. The event is reportedly estimated to be only one third of the size of the late Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.
As things currently stand, Prince William, 40, Kate Middleton, 41, and their three children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, will all be walking in the royal procession, with Prince William and Prince George, as heir and second heir to the throne, reportedly having bigger parts to play in the day. It was previously unclear whether Prince Louis would be considered too young for the procession, having not attended his great-grandmother the late Queen Elizabeth II's funeral for that reason, but as things currently stand, he is expected to walk in this procession.
At the time of publishing this article, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, on the other hand, do not appear to have been invited to the coronation at all, with a source previously telling The Times that their invitation would only be considered if and when their parents have confirmed their own.
There have been conflicting views about the Sussex children's involvement in the coronation. One royal insider told Ok! that their inclusion in the ceremony has "never been a bone of contention" because small children don't traditionally attend events of this nature "due to restlessness and tantrums" – who can forget Prince Louis hilariously stealing the show at the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee – while royal historian and author Dr Tessa Dunlop said it would be "odd" if Prince Archie has not been invited to the event.
"If you look at the footage of the 1953 coronation, who was very prominent, albeit briefly? Prince Charles. He was four," she told True Royalty TV's The Royal Beat. "Archie on his fourth birthday is definitely not too young to attend the coronation. And if you want Meghan there, you need to invite her son," Dunlop added.
'Tense Negotiations' Between The Sussexes And The Palace
Being left out of the procession doesn’t look good for Prince Harry and Meghan, as they reportedly insisted on having some part to play in the coronation to justify them traveling all the way from Montecito, California in their long list of demands prior to confirming their attendance for the event which falls on their son Prince Archie's fourth birthday. A source told Ok! that "the Sussexes want the family to recognize" their son's birthday and "have asked for some kind of celebration or acknowledgement to be factored into the day's plans to ensure that his fourth birthday won’t get lost during the momentous day," adding, "There are also reportedly fears that Meghan and Harry may upstage Charles by posting messages about their son before the coronation takes place."
Other demands reportedly relate to the Buckingham Palace balcony, which the insider said "is where Harry and Meghan have requested inclusion," and of course a face-to-face meeting between Prince Harry, King Charles, and Prince William. An insider reportedly said: "Harry has been very clear and his position hasn't wavered – he isn't going to come if he feels the atmosphere will be as toxic as it was during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and funeral. He's said he wants to reconcile with his family and it’s their call, but so far nothing has changed."
Insiders are hinting that the Sussexes are currently involved in "tense" negotiations with the palace, as the ceremony is just six weeks away and the palace don’t want any last minute amendments. "The palace are trying to wrap up negotiations as quickly as possible because they can’t go right up to the wire," an anonymous insider reportedly told Ok! Magazine.
"It could lead to chaos. It could very well be that it ends in stalemate, and they won't attend," they continued. "But the palace is doing everything in its power to not let that happen. The palace are organizing two schedules. One that includes the Sussexes and one that doesn’t. They want to be prepared for any eventuality." This eventuality could even mean Prince Harry attending on his own without his wife, as the late Princess Diana's former butler reportedly hinted that he believes Meghan won't be "brave" enough to come.
We wonder if the option of the Sussexes attending involves them being seated as far away from working members of the royal family as possible, as an insider previously reportedly revealed that they would be getting the cold shoulder if they attended. "They will be given the cold shoulder by very many relatives. One said to me, 'I hope they’ll be seated in Iceland,'" a source close to the royal family told the Daily Mail. "Much of the family just wants nothing more to do with them. If they have to see them at the coronation, then so be it, but they do not want to socialize with them," they added. Yikes!