Prince Harry Will Struggle at the Coronation Without Meghan Markle, Royal Author Says

“He leans on her very heavily.”

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

King Charles’ Coronation is in less than two weeks’ time (!), and it’s old news by now that Prince Harry will be attending, while Meghan Markle will not. (She has opted to stay behind in California with the couple’s children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.) And, while many will be celebrating on May 6, for Harry it will “be a bit of a nightmare,” says royal author Tessa Dunlop (and per OK).

Harry will be without his wife and, though he’ll be surrounded by family, those familial ties are—how shall we say this—strained. Harry leans on Meghan (and the reverse) in calm waters. But in murky waters? Especially so.

“I was watching the body language when he came out of St. George’s Chapel when [Queen Elizabeth] had finally been laid to rest on the last day of the funeral itself,” Dunlop said. “He was helping Meghan into the car, and he just wasn’t a man who was comfortable in his skin. And this time he’s coming over without the support of Meghan.”

Dunlop continued “Clearly, he does lean on her very heavily. And he’s coming alone. That means he’s exposed, effectively. He will be made to sit [farther from the royals] at best. So, he will have that feeling of demotion.”

Another royal author, Christopher Andersen, believes even the disgraced Prince Andrew—Charles’ younger brother—“will be afforded better treatment and shown more respect by the Crown—that’s how deep the animosity toward the Sussexes runs in royal circles these days,” he said.

Andersen said “my guess is that Harry will be treated like something of a pariah, and that he is well aware of that. So, you have to give him credit for being willing to show up anyway. There is a humiliation factor here. Watching the other royals share center stage with the King and Queen while he is probably going to be shunted aside—this will likely be painful and incredibly frustrating for Harry. I fully expect Harry to be sidelined and snubbed. We can look forward to lots of photographs of Harry standing alone, looking downcast and grim, even visibly seething.”

It's complex all the way around. Although Harry is happy with his new life in the U.S., Meghan’s friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin told People “Harry has definitely found his vibe and is very settled in California. But he does miss home.” 

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.