“I think it’s going to be a bit of a nightmare for him,” royal expert Tessa Dunlop exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, April 18, while promoting her book Elizabeth & Philip: A Story of Young Love, Marriage and Monarchy.
Dunlop noted that Harry, 38, seemed stressed during his last public reunion with the royal family.
“I was watching the body language when he came out of St George’s Chapel when [Queen Elizabeth II] had finally been laid to rest [in September 2022] on the last day of the funeral itself. He was helping Meghan [Markle] into the car and he just wasn’t a man who was comfortable in his skin,” she continued. “And this time he’s coming over without the support of Meghan.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday, April 12, that Harry will be attending his father’s coronation solo. One month prior, Us confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 41, were invited to the event, which happens to fall on son Archie’s fourth birthday.
“The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” the palace statement read, adding that Harry will be overseas for the event on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey.
According to Dunlop, the BetterUp CIO may be affected by his wife’s absence. “Clearly he does lean on her very heavily. I think clearly, they bonded. They both had painful childhoods [and] took solace in each other’s respective narratives. And he’s coming alone,” she detailed to Us. “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.”
Harry and Meghan, who also share daughter Lili, 22 months, made headlines after their royal exit in 2020. Their relationship with the royal family continued to take a turn late last year when the pair addressed their ups and downs in a Netflix documentary series. The U.K. native also detailed his personal family drama in his memoir, Spare, which was released in January.
Dunlop further claimed that the royals were concerned about providing security for Meghan before news broke that she wouldn’t be attending the coronation. (Harry and Meghan previously lost access to their security detail after scaling back their royal duties.)
“An insider tells me that they were a bit concerned about her security and the response [from the public]. They can’t control [what] the public would’ve given her — which would paint Britain in a very bad light too,” she said to Us about how potential protection would have “cost a fortune.”
Ahead of the coronation, Dunlop explored a different royal romance in her newest book by focusing on the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The historian explained that a trip to the National Army Museum “trigged” her interest in the couple’s decades-long love story.
“It just triggered, for me, questions about the nature of their love. [Also] to what extent their story in any way represented the stories of all the other women who I’d got to know in my subsequent work,” she told Us. “My other three books were all studies of women born after the First World War or during the War and the impact they had on the 20th century and vice versa.”
Elizabeth & Philip: A Story of Young Love is available on Amazon.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi