The Choice to Hold Charles' Coronation on Archie's Birthday Is "Bizarre," Royal Expert Says

Christine Ross isn't sure what's behind this choice of date.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry laugh during the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony on September 10, 2014 in London, England. The International sports event for 'wounded warriors', presented by Jaguar Land Rover
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty)

It's extremely unclear what's happening with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's various media projects (most notably their alleged joint Netflix docuseries and Harry's actually confirmed memoir). The rumor mill has been contradicting itself for weeks—seesawing between a suggestion that the Sussexes are scrambling to edit their content to make it more respectful towards the Royal Family, and an assertion that they are doing no such thing.

But as far as public commentary is concerned, one new development may have a significant influence on whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will further delay, edit, or even cancel their projects. King Charles has just announced that his coronation will take place on May 6, 2023, which just so happens to coincide with his grandson Archie's fourth birthday—a move that is dumbfounding royal fans, and which could potentially hurt the Sussexes' existing loyalties to the Royal Family.

Speaking to Marie Claire on Oct. 11 (before the coronation date was revealed), royal expert Christine Ross said, "I imagine that they have more power to edit their work than the average podcaster or author, who would be beholden to editors and producers.

"The rumored financial payout for their work must be a powerful playing card for companies like Spotify, Netflix, and Harry's publisher. I would not be surprised if some projects and works went back to the edits stage."

The Sussexes were included in far more royal events than they had been in years following the Queen's death, which Ross believes is noteworthy with regards to their media projects.

"We've already seen a shift in their dynamic since the death of the late Queen Elizabeth, so I imagine they are doing some reflection on how they want to handle the next stage of their lives," the expert continued.

"If the rumors are true, and there is still a significant amount of dirty laundry in their upcoming projects, I don't think King Charles will be as placatable as Queen Elizabeth II was towards the Sussexes. We have certainly seen and heard that the rift within the family is most significantly between Prince Harry and Prince William and King Charles."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty)

Essentially, Ross believes that if the Sussexes were to make damaging revelations, their future relationship with the Royal Family would be seriously endangered. But now that the surprising coronation date has been announced, it's possible that the Sussexes may feel they have nothing left to lose. Still, Ross thinks it isn't necessarily a slight towards the U.S.-based family.

"I think the choice to hold the coronation on Archie’s birthday is bizarre, only because it lends to so much speculation and commentary given the current climate of the relationship between King Charles and Prince Harry," she tells Marie Claire on Oct. 12, following the announcement.

"I honestly can’t decide if it’s a positive indication or a negative one, but it would certainly have been part of the discussion when selecting the date. The royal calendar is always very busy in the late spring and early summer, so it’s very possible this was the only logical date available. I would hope this means the relationship is moving in a positive direction."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.