Sarah Vine: Next month’s coronation should be about the king and queen, not the Sussex family drama
No doubt the official line would be a quiet, respectful contrition — but, frankly, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief emanating from the palace.
They may have 99 troubles staging one of the scenes of the century but at least the possibility of the Duchess of Sussex derailing the entire coronation course with what the invalid souls would consider one of her signature dramas is not one.
Instead, Prince Harry will come alone, leaving his wife and two children at home in California. No doubt he will be rocky as he has been on the last few occasions he has graced us with his holy presence; But at least we won’t have to put up with all the woe that we live in hat melodrama.
The coronation should be about King Charles and Queen Camilla, about the royal family as a much-loved British institution, not about these two egotistical two with their endless grievances and perceived insults. If they could come up with a spirit of love and reconciliation, it would have been great. But you know that this was not to be the case.
Already, Harry’s presence seems thin, with his spokesperson, Omid Scobie, warning that he will only make a fleeting appearance amid claims he won’t bother going to Buckingham Palace after the main event.
Prince Harry will come alone, leaving his wife and two children at home in California
The coronation should be about King Charles and Queen Camilla, and about the royal family as a much-loved British institution
All of this gives the impression that he is only experiencing suffering, which means that if the Duchess had accompanied him, the whole thing would have been a minefield.
Everyone was walking on eggshells, seriously freaking out in case she accidentally upset her and ended up on another episode of the Poor Little Me Podcast.
I’m sorry to sound cynical, but that’s what experience has taught us over the past eighteen months. Given all that has transpired, it’s hard to see how the Duchess’s presence could have been anything more than, at best, a distraction and, at worst, a venomous shadow over the entire proceedings.
And this is a real shame. Not just for Charles who, let’s not forget, bravely walked Meghan down the aisle and considers her (and his grandchildren) a cherished part of the family. Or for Harry, who despite abandoning his royal duties, may still have wanted his children — those he resolved to name Prince and Princess — to be part of such a monumental, historic event. But for all of us loyal royals who would hate to see the royal family tear themselves apart like this.
It’s also a bit of a missed opportunity. Harry believes his family owes him an apology. I would say that after the way he had acted, after the terrible things he had said and the way he had betrayed so many who loved him, the coronation invitation was more than sorry: it was a gracious and kind gesture, an olive branch. And quite frankly, more than either of them deserve.
If they had any decency – or sense – they would have immediately accepted the spirit of reconciliation, and used that as an opportunity to draw a line under all this ugliness and malice and finally begin to heal the wounds and move on.
Instead, no: They doubled down on the beef among them. Meghan’s absence could have come as a great relief to the palace and to the more sane people; But it’s also an unmistakable disdain, which — and forgive me for being so blunt — I think sends a very clear message: Your coronation, your royal family and your traditions. Your King Charles stuff and everything it stands for.
There is no way back from this. And maybe that’s what they both want. Megan has made no secret of the fact that she sees her future and her “focus” in America.
Well, she’s welcome at that — and they are at it.