The date for King Charles III’s coronation has been set, but it remains unclear if Prince Harry will return for the ceremony.
King Charles III will be crowned on May 6, 2023, at Westminster Abbey in London. According to an official Buckingham Palace statement, “the Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”. Coincidentally, the ceremony falls on an already important royal date — Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son’s birthday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in the UK with the rest of the Royal Family. A series of so-called olive branches suggested the royals were attempting to put their rift behind them. However, questions surrounding the Prince’s upcoming memoir remain, with many predicting that Harry promising a “wholly truthful” account of his life so far. Charles is understood to be particularly concerned about the content of the book and royal author Katie Nicholl has claimed the King will be “ruthless” if the Sussexes continue with “unfair attacks”.
Katie Nicholl, author of ‘The New Royals’ and Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent told The Daily Beast this week: “There is no doubt that Charles would like Harry and Meghan to be at his coronation. And to be fair to Charles, he has been magnanimous in terms of extending, very publicly, olive branches to the Sussexes, not only in his televised accession address but also putting them front and centre at the funeral events. “But he does expect respect in return, and a problem is going to arise if, between now and then, Harry repays him by attacking him, Camilla or the institution. He is not going to put up with inaccurate and unfair attacks.”
She added: “The Queen was ruthless when it came to protecting the institution, and Charles will be too, and we are possibly seeing that in the lack of urgency around naming Archie and Lilibet prince and princess. “My understanding is that Charles is not averse to granting them titles, but he expects to see respect from the Sussexes in return. The ball is in the Sussexes’ court. The royals, just like the rest of us, are waiting to see what they will do next.” Harry and Meghan’s children have not had their HRH titles conferred upon them, according to the Royal website, despite the other members of the family having their names changed immediately. When Charles ascended the throne, three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet became entitled to prince or princess titles.
Since then, there has been ample speculation about the titles that could be bestowed on the two Sussex children. However, long before his accession to the throne, Charles had spoken about his plans to slim down the Royal Family. It was reported the working royals will be reduced to seven or eight, limited to himself and the Queen Consort, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and their spouses, as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales. When Harry and Meghan stepped down from the Royal Family, they relinquished their HRH titles, but they are said to want their children to have the option to use theirs.
According to royal expert Roya Nikkhah, Harry turned down the opportunity for his children to take on the HRH titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, telling his father that it “was not his decision to make for them”. The Sunday Times’ Royal correspondent told True Royalty’s The Royal Beat: “On the death of the Queen, Harry’s children, Archie and Lilibet automatically as grandchildren of the sovereign became HRH the Prince and Princess. “So they have got that now. But they have not been updated on the royal website with their new titles. They are still Master and Miss, whereas William and Kate’s new titles were instantly updated.
“It is my understanding that this was discussed between father and son when Harry was over here. [King Charles] said: ‘What do you want, son?’ Harry said, ‘Well, I want my children to be able to decide about their titles when they come of age. It is not my decision to make for them. We can only do that if we keep the titles’. “Now they have the titles but it is up to Charles whether or not he allows them to keep them or he issues letters patent to remove them, and that is still unresolved.” There has been speculation that the King could follow the model laid out by other European royal families, who have scaled back their monarchies by stripping some royals of their titles.
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe recently stripped four of her grandchildren of their royal duties and titles, sparking controversy within the House of Glücksburg. The Danish Queen stripped all those not in direct line of accession of HRH titles. Ms Nicholl claimed constitutional experts, “who I spoke to for this book, the likes of Peter Hennessy and Doctor Ed Owens” all saw “this pattern of the British monarchy moving into a sort of European-style royalty”. Ms Nicholl added: “And if that is the case, then possibly they’re not going to get these titles.”