Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Senior royals ‘have NO times or appetite’ to meet Harry on Coronation

Prince Harry’s fleeting visit to Britain for his father’s Coronation is expected to leave no time for any efforts to mend his fractured relationship with his family. Harry will attend the Coronation service on May 6, much to the relief and delight of King Charles, but it appears there will be no time for peace talks inside the Royal Family during his brief visit.

Senior members of the Firm are focused on planning and rehearsing for the historic occasion and have no appetite or time at this stage for thinking about any attempt at reconciliation, sources have told the Daily Express.

Harry, whose only public appearance over the Coronation long weekend will be at the Westminster Abbey service, is expected to be seated apart from his brother Prince William and with other non-working members of the Royal Family at the service.

It is possible he may return to Buckingham Palace after the service with other members of the wider family but he is not expected to make an appearance on the balcony and his office has said he will not be at the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle on the Sunday.

Harry, 38, is expected to return home soon after the Coronation to be with Meghan and their children in California and will not be staying for the start of a court case on May 9 in which he is one of a number of people suing the publishers of the Daily Mirror.

His family has not forgiven him for his public outbursts about his rift with them in a controversial Netflix documentary series and his memoir, Spare, and he is likely to get an icy reception from many of them when he returns for the Coronation.

But his decision to attend the Abbey service has at least given him a chance of avoiding irreparable damage to the relationship with his father and stepmother Queen Camilla and kept faint hopes alive of a reconciliation eventually.

Sources close to him have said he wanted to be there for his father. But in a decision that has come as a relief to many at the palace because it will scale back the drama, Meghan will stay at home in the US to host a fourth birthday party for their son, Prince Archie.

Harry’s brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate are still not on speaking terms with him and Meghan but friends of the couple have denied claims, from the author Tom Bower, that Kate vetoed Meghan returning for the Coronation.

“I think that we must all be grateful that Kate in the end, I think, prevented Meghan coming and said she wouldn’t have her there under any circumstances and if she did come she had to sit at the back,” Mr Bower told GB News.

But friends of William and Kate said the Princess of Wales had not been involved in any way in any discussions or decisions about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Coronation.

Several royal insiders believe it is nigh on impossible to see the warring brothers reconcile but there are signs at least of some thawing of relations between the Sussexes and the King.

Their two offices coordinated the announcement on Wednesday that Harry would attend and Meghan would stay away and they have worked together on previous announcements that the couple had been invited to the Coronation and that they have decided to exercise their right to call their children, Archie and his 22-month-old sister Lilibet, a Prince and Princess.

That at least is in sharp contrast to the position for much of the past few years when Harry and Meghan have blindsided palace officials with statements out of the blue and have openly expressed their distrust of senior royal aides.

Harry, who is taking legal action against the Home Office over its refusal to allow him to have automatic taxpayer-funded police protection, is expected to be given Scotland Yard bodyguards as one of the guests at the Coronation.

But the Policing Minister Chris Philp declined to go into details yesterday, insisting security measures would be assessed on a “case-by-case basis”.

Asked what effect Harry’s presence will have on security measures at the Coronation, Mr Philp told LBC: “Those obviously get assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

On whether Harry’s attendance will be a significant additional cost,Mr Philp added: “I’m not going to get into people’s individual protection arrangements but, by the way, we’re providing protection for hundreds of foreign heads of state, overseas heads of state who are attending as well.

“It’s a huge policing operation, both in terms of the streets and obviously protection for individuals, so it’s a big operation.”

He added: “We’re going to make sure that everybody involved in the Coronation, including the general public, are kept safe, obviously.”

At least 2,300 guests and possibly as many as 2,500 will be in the Abbey for the big day, with a further 400 young people next door in St Margaret’s Church observing part of the ceremony.

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