Prince Harry cuts a lonely figure at his father’s coronation
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London: The contrast couldn’t have been more stark. William, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Catherine, the Princess of Wales, looked resplendent and regal as they waited outside Westminster Abbey to enter as part of the formal procession.
Their outfits were determined in consultation with the King and Queen, now formally crowned.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, looks on as his father, King Charles III, leaves Westminster Abbey after the coronation.Credit: AP
Members of the royal family wore morning dress with mantles. William wore ceremonial dress uniform, belonging to the Welsh Guards, reflecting his rank and position as Colonel of the Regiment.
The second inline to the throne, Harry’s nephew Prince George, the youngest-ever royal to take part in a coronation, served as a Page of Honour, wearing that official uniform.
Harry, by contrast, having served two tours of Afghanistan, wore morning dress, as is the required dress code for civilians attending the ceremony, with his medals pinned to his chest.
Catherine and William arrive at Westminster Abbey.Credit: Getty Images
He cut a lonely and visibly less regal figure as he entered the abbey by himself, his wife, Meghan, having opted to stay at home with their two children rather than return to the country she and Harry have accused of driving them away.
The last time Harry was seen with his family, at the funeral of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II last year, he had not published his tell-all memoir, Spare, nor had the pair’s lucrative Netflix documentary in which they accuse the royal households of trading information on them, been aired.
The effects of those actions were on clear display as the rain poured outside the abbey on Saturday.
Harry was relegated to the third row and was seated behind Princess Anne, whose enormous hat must surely have blocked any view of his father’s long-awaited date with destiny. It was a row back from where he sat during the funeral, when he was directly behind his father.
The Prince and Princess of Wales with their two youngest children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, in the front row.Credit: Getty Images
He was seated between Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie’s husband, and 86-year-old Princess Alexandra, a cousin of his late grandmother’s.
He seemed relaxed enough as he chatted to Brooksbank, but he would have been aware of the cameras trained upon his every expression, and of the army of body language experts and lip readers assigned to decipher his every word.
If there were any way back into the fold for Harry, it was obvious that this was not the day and rapprochement had not yet begun.
While Harry is not a working royal, he is fifth-in-line to the throne.
He was seen speaking the words along with other royals in the congregation: “God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the King live forever”.
With his father being the oldest monarch to be crowned in Britain’s history, it’s obvious that this won’t be the last coronation Harry is likely to attend.
The next will be his brother’s, with whom he fell out following his marriage to Meghan. There was even a physical fight between the pair, according to Harry’s account.
It may be a long time until Harry, resentful of his own place as a spare heir, attends his brother’s coronation, but Charles’ big day showed there has been no progress towards ensuring it will be a happier family affair.
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