Prince Harry’s upcoming trip to the U.K. for his father King Charles’ Coronation on Saturday (Saturday! Remember when May 6 seemed so far off?) will be difficult for many reasons, not the least of which that he has to leave his family behind in California (wife Meghan Markle and children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet), and on Archie’s fourth birthday, to boot. Add to it that Harry hasn’t interacted face-to-face with any members of his family (at least that we know of) since the publication of his bombshell memoir, Spare, in January—a book that was critical of not just many individual family members, but also the monarchy as an institution—and it will no doubt be a complex, albeit quick, trip.
And let’s add another potential frustrating element into the mix, shall we? The Mirror reports that Harry “could be set for another uniform humiliation as he faces not being allowed to wear military garb at the King’s Coronation next week.” The outlet reports that it is currently unclear what military uniform he will be allowed to wear—and the ceremony is in six days’ time.
Last September, “he was left heartbroken when he was forced to have the ER symbol removed from his military uniform when he stood vigil at the Queen’s funeral alongside [brother Prince] William and cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie,” The Mirror reports. “And next weekend, the war veteran could face the same fate.” (ER stood for Elizabeth Regina, which means “queen” in Latin.)
Military historian Dr. Peter Johnston told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat that Harry probably won’t be in uniform on Saturday: “I imagine Harry won’t wear [his] uniform [at the Coronation],” Johnston said. “Even as a veteran who did two tours in Afghanistan, he won’t wear uniform. I imagine he’ll wear his medals, but quite where he fits within the procession and where he comes, I think will probably [be] reasonably similar to where he was at the funeral as well. He’ll be a part of it, but not necessarily a [leading] part of it.”
The Daily Express also reported that “he may have his own tribute to his royal father by wearing his medals.”
Meanwhile, it was just announced what William’s key role in the Coronation will be—the Prince of Wales will represent the royal family’s loyalty to the King with a historic vow, People reports, pledging his loyalty and allegiance to the King. Soon after Charles is crowned midway through the ceremony, William will kneel before his father, place his hands between the hands of the King, and say “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.” These words—called the Homage of Royal Blood—are perhaps made most famous by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who took the same oath before his wife at her Coronation in 1953.
William’s role was confirmed in the liturgy of the Coronation service, released by the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. William is the only member of the royal family who will pay his respects in this way at the service and will also appear during the ceremony as the Stole Royal and the Robe Royal are brought to the King. William will assist the Baroness Merron and bishops in putting the robe on his father.
And William isn’t the only future king to be a part of the big day—William’s eldest son, Prince George, is a Page of Honor for Charles and will make history as the youngest future king to play an official role at a Coronation, The Telegraph reports.
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.
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