(London) Invited but kept apart: Harry, youngest son of Charles III at odds with the royal family, and Andrew, brother of the king already deprived of public engagement, will not have any official role during the coronation, confirmed the palace on Saturday.
The Duke of Sussex (Harry) and the Duke of York (Andrew) are no longer working members of the royal family, the first since his voluntary departure from the United States with his wife Meghan in 2020, while the second fell in disgrace after sexual assault charges.
While they had taken part in the funeral procession behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Abbey after her death last September, this time Harry and Andrew will not walk behind the royal couple in the procession that will accompany them back to the Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.
It is also unlikely that they will appear on the balcony for the traditional greeting of members of the royal family, even if the palace has not revealed who will surround Charles and Camilla for the occasion.
But even without an official role, Harry will undoubtedly attract all eyes. His place in Westminster Abbey will say a lot about the state of his relations with his father, and perhaps even with his elder brother William, heir to the throne he did not spare in his memoirs The Substitute published last January.
He describes in particular an argument in 2019, during which William would have thrown him to the ground in the dog bowl.
While the suspense has long hovered over his presence, confirmed only a few weeks before the coronation, it is the first time since the publication of this book that Harry will see his loved ones again, in particular the queen consort Camilla, whom he accuses of many evils in Le Suppléant.
The contrast will be great with the role devolved to William, who as heir to the throne will have to kneel and pledge allegiance to the monarch during the ceremony.
Meghan, Harry’s wife, and their two children Archie and Lilibet have remained in California, where Harry is due to join them right after the coronation to celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday.
Andrew is now used to keeping a low profile, banned from any official public appearance and deprived of his military titles in early 2022 after accusations of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, a case he settled with a financial agreement.
His presence soon after on the arm of the queen, accompanying her to Westminster Abbey for a service in tribute to her father, Prince Philip, who died last year, had sparked criticism.