Before agreeing to attend his father King Charles’ Coronation on May 6, Prince Harry is seeking an apology—but he shouldn’t hold his breath, according to multiple outlets. The Daily Mail reports that neither Charles nor Harry’s older brother Prince William will give Harry the apology he is asking for because “ill will is still boiling over in the family,” a source says, and Charles and William are not “in any mood to pander to Harry’s demands following his latest attacks,” the outlet writes.
There are just over 70 days to go before the ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, and familial relations are as icy as ever, The Daily Mail reports, with sources calling it a “toxic stalemate.” Save the date cards for the Coronation are set to be sent out in two weeks to the reported 2,000 guests invited—a significant cut from the 8,251 that attended Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation 70 years ago—and formal invitations will not be sent until just three weeks before the event. The Daily Mail reports that Harry has long had an open invitation to all family events as a member of the royal family, despite stepping back as a working member of the royal family alongside wife Meghan Markle three years ago. This open invitation remains, “although it has been stretched to the limit,” the outlet writes, thanks to Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries and Harry’s tell-all, Spare.
Omid Scobie, a journalist closely linked to Harry and Meghan, said this week that “no one knows their plans right now—the couple has yet to be invited and can’t make a decision, nor any form of itinerary, until that happens.” According to The Independent, before RSVPing yes to the ceremony—which, coincidentally, is to be held on the fourth birthday of his son, Archie—Harry wants an apology, which Harry himself said in so many words during an interview to promote Spare with ITV’s Tom Bradby: “There’s a lot to be discussed, and I really hope that they’re [the family] willing to sit down and talk about it,” Harry said.
The Daily Mail reports that Charles is at least willing to speak to his son—“he’s his son, he loves him,” a friend says of the King—but William is emphatically “not in the mood for any kind of conversation.”
“What are the family meant to apologize for?” an insider asks. “As the late Queen said, recollections may vary.” Another source adds “I don’t think His Majesty is minded to apologize for anything at present. Quite the opposite. There is still a huge amount of ill will boiling over in the family. Conversations could still happen in the next few weeks [over the Sussexes’ attendance], I am sure, but they will be waiting a very long time for an apology. There’s a great deal of hurt [at Harry’s actions].”
William remains hurt not just at the attacks on him inside the pages of Spare—of which there are many—but especially those leveled at his wife, Catherine. A family friend says “I hear that William has no intention whatsoever of apologizing and remains incandescent, especially around the way his wife, the Princess of Wales, has been treated.” The relationship between brothers “isn’t even rock bottom now, it’s nonexistent,” a source says. “And I just don’t see, if Harry were to come to the Coronation, how William could even bring himself to look his brother in the face.”
For his part, The Mirror cites author Tom Bower as saying Harry was “unwavering” in his demand for a sit-down with Charles and William, and that “Harry has been very clear, and his position hasn’t wavered—he isn’t going to come [to the Coronation] if he feels the atmosphere will be as toxic as it was during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and funeral.”
A “toxic stalemate,” indeed.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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