Prince Harry arrives at Westminster Abbey for his father's Coronation
Prince Harry wears an awkward smile as he is relegated to third row at Coronation with minor royals – after walking alone down the aisle while William and Kate take centre stage
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Prince Harry wore an awkward smile today as he attended the Coronation of his father King Charles III at Westminster Abbey.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, cut a solo figure as he was forced to walk down the aisle by himself to take his seat in the third row ahead of the arrival of his father and soon-to-be Queen Camilla.
He put on a jovial display as he chatted to relatives amid widespread speculation of the family’s ongoing inner turmoil following the release of his bombshell memoir Spare.
Wearing medals pinned to his suit jacket, he had been seen laughing and smiling as he entered the royal church alongside Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and their respective husbands Jack Brooksbank and Edo Mapelli Mozzi.
Harry had not been seen for over 24 hours after his arrival and accommodation plans remained shrouded in secrecy – before it emerged he had flown into the UK on a commercial American Airlines flight on Friday morning.
It comes after it was reported today that the King’s youngest son, who was expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage overnight, is invited to lunch at Buckingham Palace today following the historic service.
It is not yet known, however, if the Duke will accept, given that he is expected to rush back to California to reunite with his wife Meghan Markle to celebrate their son Archie’s fourth birthday.
The invitation will be seen by many as an olive branch from Charles after Harry’s explosive memoir Spare left several members of the Royal Family reeling – most notably his brother Prince William.
Prince Harry looks on from the third row as his brother and his family take centre stage at the coronation ceremony
The Duke of Sussex , 38, finally emerged this morning as he joined other members of the royal family in entering the church in central London, before being seen walking down the aisle by himself
The Duke of Sussex , 38, cut a solo figure as he was forced to walk down the aisle by himself to take his seat in the third row ahead of the arrival of his father and soon-to-be Queen Camilla.
Prince Harry taking his seat in the third row of the abbey ahead of the arrival of Charles and Camilla
Kate and William take centre stage as they arrive for the Coronation Ceremony at Westminster Abbey
A Sky News narrator said: ‘The Palace have told us that Prince Harry has been invited back to Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
‘They would not say whether he has said yes or not, we know it’s a flying visit.’ Reporter Kay Burley later said the invitation was to ‘lunch.’
It comes after it was revealed today that Harry – who is fifth in line to the throne – had been relegated to the third row inside the abbey for the service.
He is seated between Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank and Princess Alexandra, the cousin of the late Queen who has not worked as a royal for 10 years. They are joined by Prince Andrew’s daughters Eugenie, 33, and Beatrice, 34, and her husband Edo Mapelli Mozzi.
Also in the third row, at the other end from Harry, was the Duke of York, who stopped using the title His Royal Highness in an official capacity in January 2022. He wore his Order of the Garter robe.
William and Kate are in the front row at the abbey for the historic ceremony, with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Harry walks solo inside Westminster Abbey before he takes his seat alongside Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex talks to Princess Anne as they take their seats ahead of the Coronation Ceremony
Prince Harry walking down the aisle by himself inside Westminster Abbey
Harry is seated between Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank and Princess Alexandra, the cousin of the late Queen who has not worked as a royal for 10 years.
Prince Harry arrives to attend Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla’s coronation ceremony
Prince Harry arrives for the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey
Hand of support: The Duke of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives arrives for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Their youngest child, Prince Louis, who recently turned five, will take his seat after processing through the abbey, but will retire once the ceremony begins.
Only the other senior working royals will have a front row seat, made up of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh – Edward and Sophie – and their children Lady Louise and James the Earl of Wessex, as well as the ever-popular Princess Anne and her husband Tim Laurence.
A source told the Sun: ‘There were discussions that the seating could be arranged on line of succession. But that would have put fifth-in-line Harry front and centre — and with William and Kate.
‘Instead the decision was working royals only at the front and work back from there. Harry will be a long way from his father.’
Sources previously told the Mail there were ‘no plans’ for Harry to join the Royal Family on the Palace balcony or to even appear in official photos.
Prince Harry arrives outside Westminster Abbey in the rain for the coronation of his father, donning a black suit with his medals on show
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives with Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Harry making his way to his seat inside Westminster Abbey ahead of the King’s coronation
Prince Harry has arrived at Westminster Abbey for the historic Coronation of his father King Charles III .
Prince Harry and other royals seated inside Westminster Abbey ahead of the coronation ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh – Edward and Sophie – and their children Lady Louise and James the Earl of Wessex arrive to take their seats
It emerged today that the Duke jetted into the UK on a commercial flight on Friday morning, leaving passengers gobsmacked.
The King’s son arrived from Los Angeles on American Airlines flight AA136, which landed at 11.23am at London Heathrow yesterday.
Sources this week stressed that Harry will be ‘in and out of the UK in 24 hours’. He plans to dash back straight after the two-hour ceremony to be with Meghan Markle for their son Archie’s fourth birthday.
He was expected to spend a final evening at Frogmore Cottage last night after his father decided to evict him and his American wife just days after the release of his memoir Spare.
As was widely expected, it was confirmed by the Palace this morning that Harry and Andrew will be mere spectators to the historic Coronation Ceremony given that they are no longer working royals.
The two men will also be absent from the procession behind the Gold State Coach that will carry the newly crowned King and Queen to the Palace after the ceremony.
It means they will miss out, too, on stepping out onto the balcony at the Palace for a traditional photo op following the service.
Prince Harry has been invited to lunch at Buckingham Palace today following the historic Coronation of his father King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, it has emerged (pictured together at the funeral for the late Queen last September)
Harry will be relegated to the third row inside the abbey, seated between Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank and Princess Alexandra, the cousin of the late Queen who has not worked as a royal for 10 years (Pictured: Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie of York, Princess Beatrice of York and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi attend the Memorial Service For The Duke Of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on March 29, 2022)
All eyes are on Harry as he faces his relatives in public for the first time since he criticised Charles, Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales in his explosive tell-all book.
Insiders last night said they could not rule out him having an unplanned heart-to-heart with his father after arriving to the UK.
‘Of course you can never say never,’ said one. ‘Anything is possible, especially with him. And His Majesty loves his son despite everything.’ But others felt that this was extremely unlikely.
‘To be honest it seems a bit pointless him being there. His place in the pecking order couldn’t be clearer,’ another source told the Mail.
‘Attending is probably the right thing for him to do in the long run. He can at least say he came and made the effort to be with his father on his big day… But the red carpet is most definitely not being rolled out and, as it stands, he will just be another member of the congregation.’
Prince Harry will be relegated to the third row with his cousins inside Westminster Abbey today for the Coronation of his father King Charles III, it has been revealed. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on June 3 last year
Sources have told the Mail that there are ‘no plans’ for him to join the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony (Pictured: Meghan, Harry, William and Kate in 2018)
Harry (right) will be jetting straight back to his LA home after the ceremony to his wife Meghan and their two children
Sources last month suggested that other family members – with the possible exception of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – had no interest in talking with Harry at the Coronation beyond the most basic of greetings.
It came after the prince publicly called on his family to apologise to himself and Meghan for what they saw as slights against them.
READ MORE: Your ultimate guide to the Coronation: Minute-by-minute of King Charles’ big day, where to watch the procession and enjoy afternoon tea, what to wear for the weather, Tubes, roads and rail stations to avoid – and what to watch on TV
He also demanded that his father and brother sit down with him before May 6 to thrash their issues out – a meeting which never came to fruition.
Adding fuel to the fire, Harry also indicated he has enough material to fill another book, which is likely to make the royals wary of encountering him.
He is set to make a quick exit after the Coronation, flying back to the US to mark Archie’s birthday, and is expected to attend only the abbey ceremony.
Sources previously said the decision by Meghan to remain in California had come as a relief in some circles, following fears her presence could have heightened family tensions.
It is also understood there was real concern in the Sussex camp about the public reception the couple would have received if they attended the Coronation together.
Friends, including Meghan’s biographer Omid Scobie, suggested her decision was largely due to the Coronation falling on the same day as Archie’s fourth birthday.
The couple had delayed answering their invitation for weeks, causing difficulties for organisers tasked with complex seating plans, transport and security for senior members of the Royal Family, world leaders and other dignitaries.
Sources described the negotiations as a game of ‘transatlantic ping pong’, and Harry was said to have wanted numerous assurances about arrangements.
Coronation organisers admitted that they were stressed about Harry’s plans and said that it was like ‘trying to communicate with Mars’.
Asked in an interview in January whether he would attend the Coronation if invited, Harry said ‘the door is always open’.
It was then reported last month that the duke would be coming to the Coronation alone, leaving Meghan at home with their children Archie and Lilibet.
Buckingham Palace later said it was ‘pleased to confirm’ the Duke of Sussex will be at Westminster Abbey. There had been uncertainty at the Palace over the Sussexes’ attendance.
Sources last month said Charles was very pleased his youngest son is coming and his mood was described as ‘generally quite forgiving’, however, his brother William was understood to still feel betrayed and angry, particularly by the revelations in Harry’s memoirs.
One source told The Telegraph that the ‘gulf’ between the brothers, who were once as close as siblings could be, is now so large they cannot see how their relationship can ever be repaired.
But their father hoped his Coronation could heal some of those wounds, sources said.
At his grandmother’s funeral last September, Harry and Meghan were squeezed into a corner at the end of the second row – with a candle even obscuring a clear view of the Duchess (pictured)
Harry was placed behind William for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020, his final event before moving to the US (pictured)
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla are pictured in Malton, North Yorkshire, on April 5
The late Queen Elizabeth II, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Harry and Meghan attend the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020
Sussex supporters said Harry understood that the Coronation is the biggest day of his father’s life and felt it was right to be present, despite his attacks on the family.
But more than one source confirmed to the Mail that there had been ‘extensive discussions’ between London and California over the issue of Harry’s attendanc.
One said: ‘Harry’s side was keen to find out, presumably because they wanted to rubber-stamp it, what the seating plan at the Abbey is. There’s been extensive back and forth about who they [Harry and Meghan] would be sitting behind if they came. And who would be behind them.’
Harry was apparently quite preoccupied by this particular detail, the source said.
Another source added: ‘This is true. There have been a lot of questions on detail for the Abbey.’
Publications with links to the Sussexes have suggested that Harry had a list of questions for the Palace about what would happen if he attended and wanted certain ‘assurances’, but did not detail what they might be.
When Harry and Meghan came to the UK for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee they joined other members of the Royal Family at St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving. But, notably and rather awkwardly, they were seated on the other side of the nave from Charles, Camilla, William and Kate.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been shunted away from the main seats as their rift with the Royal Family has grown.
There had been hopes the Coronation could provide an opportunity for reconciliation – but as of last month, members of the Royal Family were understood not to have an appetite for it.
One source told the Daily Express: ‘The Royal Family are focused on planning for the historic occasion and have no appetite or time at this stage to think about reconciliation.’
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