Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are “In a Predicament” Over Coronation Attendance

Here’s everything we know so far about the Sussexes’ attendance (or potential lack thereof).

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

The “will they or won’t they?” debate over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s attendance at King Charles’ Coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London continues—much like how the "will they or won’t they?” debate over the couple’s attendance at the Platinum Jubilee raged on until they attended the event last June. (Spoiler alert: This likely will not be the last you read on this site of the ongoing back-and-forth surrounding the Sussexes’ attendance.)

It's an endlessly complicated topic. First of all, May 6 is also the fourth birthday of Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie, which would make their attendance from the U.S. to the U.K. complicated even without, you know, everything else—which cannot be understated. By everything else, of course, we mean the familial rifts that have raged for years, punctuated firmly by what has happened since the Platinum Jubilee in the family: The Queen’s death in September; the couple’s eponymous six-part Netflix docuseries, released in December; and Harry’s explosive memoir, Spare, released the next month, and along with it a slew of interviews that didn’t help mend fences between Harry and the rest of his family. Whew. It’s exhausting.

It puts Harry “in a predicament,” The Independent reports—and that’s putting it lightly. Despite all of the above, Charles is still Harry’s father, and this is one of the most important days of Charles’ life—one he has waited for longer than 74 years. The Telegraph reports that Harry is weighing a “million different variables” as to whether he and Meghan should attend the ceremony in two and a half months’ time, citing a friend of Harry’s.

“Harry is reportedly considering how the British public will react to him and Meghan attending the Coronation, as well as whether their decision to skip it might be perceived as a snub,” The Independent reports.

The source, speaking to The Telegraph, says that Harry is mindful that May 6 will be “pretty much the most important day” in his father’s life. The friend added that Harry would like to be by Charles’ side as he is crowned King, and that Harry also wants to repair his relationships with other members of the royal family as well.

Earlier this week, a source close to the royal family told The Daily Mail (per The Independent) that Harry and Meghan “will definitely” be there at the Coronation, but shouldn’t expect any talks of reconciliation while there.

And what Marie Claire knows thus far: Harry and Meghan will be invited, the Palace is scrambling to broker peace talks (specifically between Harry and older brother Prince William), and even the Archbishop of Canterbury has been brought in to help. And, while Harry and Meghan want an apology from the Palace, that hasn’t happened yet, and Harry’s desire for a sit-down with Charles might not happen, either. The royal family is expecting Harry and Meghan to be there, though, and are offering them incentives to do so. If they do come to some sort of agreement or reconciliation, Harry and Meghan will likely play a background role during the event, much like at the Platinum Jubilee—including no Buckingham Palace balcony appearance alongside the working members of the royal family.

Exhausted yet? And it’s only February…

Take the final word (at least for today) from Harry himself: Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby in an interview to promote Spare, Harry wouldn’t commit to attending Charles’ Coronation, saying “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”

The story continues to unfold, and we’ll cover every bit of it.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.