Prince Harry and his uncle Prince Andrew put aside their personal royal dramas to attend the coronation of King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla.
The Duke of Sussex was all smiles as he chatted with his cousin Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi before walking into Westminster Abbey on Saturday in London. The 38-year-old sat in the third row next to another cousin, a heavily pregnant Princess Eugenie, and her husband Jack Brooksbank.
LIVE: CORONATION OF KING CHARLES III
The 38-year-old’s wife, Meghan Markle, was noticeably absent from the ceremony. The Duchess of Sussex stayed behind in the couple’s home in California with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
The former American actress became the Duchess of Sussex when she married the British prince in 2018. The couple stepped back as senior members in 2020 and moved to North America. They have since repeatedly detailed their struggles with royal life publicly.
The coronation date falls on Archie’s fourth birthday.
Harry wore a dark morning suit with medals pinned to his jacket. According to People Magazine, it was a fashion choice Harry personally requested.
KING CHARLES OFFICIALLY CROWNED BRITISH MONARCH
Andrew arrived alongside his daughters, Beatrice, 34, and Eugenie, 33. The 63-year-old arrived wearing his ceremonial robes of the Order of the Garter despite not being a working member of the British royal family. The younger brother of the king waved from the car to a booing crowd as he was driven to the abbey.
His ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was not in attendance. She and Andrew divorced in 1996. The 63-year-old was not invited to the coronation.
“I personally will be having a little tearoom and coronation chicken sandwich and putting out the bunting, that’s what I’m going to be doing,” said the mother of Eugenie and Beatrice during an appearance on ITV’s “Loose Women.”
“Because that would make me very happy,” she said. “I also love to watch it on the telly because you hear a lot on the telly. The commentators are always good. And then all the family come back.
“Because remember, I am divorced from him,” Ferguson, known as “Fergie,” continued. “I don’t expect – you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be divorced and then say, ‘I want this.’ You’re in or you’re out.”
It’s noted that both Andrew and Fergie remain close as co-parents and continue to live together in Windsor.
Neither Harry nor Andrew had any formal roles during the festivities. They also didn’t join the procession from the ceremony to Buckingham Palace.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
The Duke of York gave up royal duties after revelations of his friendship with late American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He was stripped of his military titles and patronages.
According to British royal expert Duncan Larcombe, Kate Middleton’s siblings Pippa and James were in attendance as guests of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
How Charles manages his family drama over the coming weeks and years will be crucial to the king’s efforts to preserve and protect the 1,000-year-old hereditary monarchy he now embodies.
Without the respect of the public, the House of Windsor risks being lumped together with pop stars, social media influencers and reality TV contestants as fodder for the British tabloids, undermining the cachet that underpins its role in public life.
And then there are allies within Buckingham Palace who are all too eager to whisper family secrets to the ears of gleeful reporters.
Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, previously revealed to The Associated Press that he doesn’t expect Harry, in particular, to have a lot of contact with his family. The father of two’s visit to the U.K. is brief, and he’s expected to fly swiftly back home to California.
PRINCE HARRY’S ULTIMATUM TO KING CHARLES COULD PREVENT RECONCILIATION: EXPERT
But the king is no stranger to controversy. His former marriage to Princess Diana was heavily scrutinized by the tabloids before her sudden death in 1997. The glamorous Princess of Wales died from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36.
In her lifetime, Diana alleged there were “three people” in her marriage, pointing the finger at Charles’ longtime love, Camilla Parker-Bowles. The king and queen married in 2005.
In January of this year, Harry’s explosive memoir “Spare” was published. In it, Harry claimed that the senior royals leak unflattering stories to the press in hopes of favorable coverage. He specifically targeted his stepmother. He also detailed his rivalry with his elder brother Prince William, the heir to the British throne.
Over the years, Camilla has put her focus on revamping her public image. She supports numerous causes ranging from supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence to adult literacy. She has also raised awareness of osteoporosis.
When Harry married Markle in 2018, many hailed the former “Suits” star as a breath of fresh air, a youthful figure who could help modernize the monarchy. With her came a touch of Hollywood glamour that seemingly captivated audiences. However, those hopes quickly crumbled as the couple claimed palace officials were insensitive to the 41-year-old as she attempted to settle into royal life.
In a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, they hinted at racism in the palace, alleging that one unidentified member of the royal family had inquired about the color of their unborn son’s skin before his birth.
PRINCE HARRY LANDS IN UK AS ROYALS AND DIGNITARIES ARRIVE AHEAD OF KING CHARLES III’S CORONATION
Harry later clarified that was an example of unconscious bias. He noted the royal family needed to “learn and grow” so it could be “part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
The repeated attacks from the couple led to months of speculation about whether they would even be invited to the coronation. The palace finally answered that question two weeks ago when it announced that Harry would attend, but Markle would remain in California with their two children.
For Andrew, his connection to Epstein resulted in his royal downfall. Epstein, 66, who was convicted of sex crimes in 2008, was found dead in a New York jail cell in 2019. At the time, he was awaiting trial on a second set of charges. His girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted last year of helping procure young girls for Epstein. The 61-year-old is serving a 20-year sentence at a federal prison in Florida.
Andrew gave up his royal duties in 2019 following a nuclear interview with the BBC where he attempted to clear his name. He has vehemently denied accusations made by an American woman, who claimed she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was a teen. Andrew settled the suit in 2022 before it went to trial. Andrew has since attempted to keep a low profile.
Charles ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother. Elizabeth, England’s longest-reigning monarch, died in September 2022 at age 96.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.