Skip to main content

The monarchy

Let the Sussexes come to the coronation

Charles, William and Harry on holiday in 2005. Anwar Hussein/Getty

It is “beyond extraordinary”, says Melanie Phillips in The Times, that the King has had to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to broker a deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for them to attend the coronation in May. But then, it’s beyond extraordinary that Harry and Meghan have “declared war upon the royal family”. Much of the British public want to see “nothing more of either of them”, and if they do come, “they may find themselves booed”. Prince William is said to be resisting his father’s wish for Harry to attend, fearing he will “pull some kind of stunt”.

But the King is right. In part, this is because there’s every chance the Sussexes would be “more disruptive by their absence”. But it’s also because, however appalling Harry’s behaviour has been, he’s just a sad young man “acting out his torment” after an undeniably tricky childhood. It’s his misfortune to have married a woman who has dragged him into her own “destructive vortex of anger and narcissism”. For the King to be crowned having “banished his own troubled and needy son” would strike a “deeply sour note”. It doesn’t matter if Meghan’s there or not, and it does “stick in the craw” that Harry is said to be “laying down conditions” – such as where he gets to sit in the Abbey – to secure his attendance. But the King would be justified in going to considerable lengths to have his son there. Prince William and others with misgivings will just have to do what the royals always do: “suck it up”.