The Royal Family Didn’t Want to “Complicate Matters” by Giving Prince Harry a Role in the Coronation

Just three days to go until the big day.

Prince Harry walking
(Image credit: Getty)

While Prince Harry will be in attendance at King Charles’ Coronation on Saturday, he won’t have a formal role in the ceremony. According to royal expert Gareth Russell, this was an intentional decision by the royal family so as not to “complicate matters,” he says in an interview with Us Weekly.

The historian tells the outlet that it’s not “surprising that Prince Harry hasn’t been given a role,” and that the royal family opted to do this “not to complicate matters further by having him involved…simply because…the royals are hoping that they can draw a line under the recent controversy with the Duke of Sussex.”

Harry’s brother Prince William has a big role in the ceremony, and his eldest son, Prince George, is a Page of Honor for the King. (George also, according to The Telegraph, will become the youngest future king to play an official role at a Coronation.) The Prince and Princess of Wales and all three of their children were at a Coronation rehearsal on Wednesday morning, with the King “smiling broadly,” People reports. All five members of the Wales family are expected to not just be in attendance Saturday, but take part in the procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace, where they will appear on the balcony.

The Wales family of five walks into Easter church service

(Image credit: Getty)

All of that said, the King is, according to Us Weekly, thrilled that Harry will be there and sad that Meghan and the couple’s children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet will not be there. (They’ve chosen to stay behind in California to celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday, which is also on Saturday.)

“Prince Harry, as would the King and Prince William, would regret if he wasn’t there,” Russell says. “So I think generally speaking, the consensus is it’s right that he’s there. It’s probably best that he’s there as King Charles’ son rather than as a working prince of the United Kingdom.”

The Coronation will mark the first time Harry is known to have seen members of the royal family face-to-face since the publication of Spare in January, where he took aim at not just individual members of his family, but at the institution as a whole. 

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.