After the Prince of Wales, 40, paid homage to the new monarch, 74, Charles leaned forward and murmured something to his eldest son. According to CBS News, the king said simply, “Thank you, William.”
William, who is next in line for the throne, participated in two major moments of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. First, he presented his father with the Stole Royal and the Robe Royal before Charles was crowned with the St Edward’s Crown.
After the crowning, William kneeled before his father and paid homage, saying: “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.” The Duke of Cornwall then leaned in to give his dad a kiss on the cheek.
Following William’s homage, guests in the church were asked to pay homage as well, saying: “God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the king live forever.”
Prince Harry, who was seated in the third row, could be seen mouthing the words along with other members of the royal family, including his cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The Duke of Sussex, 38, did not have an official role in the ceremony after stepping down as a senior working royal in 2020.
The Invictus Games founder attended the event without wife Meghan Markle, who stayed at home in California with the couple’s children, son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 23 months. The date of the coronation happened to coincide with Archie’s birthday.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world,” an insider exclusively told Us Weekly in April. “Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first. She feels very grateful to be included in such a special occasion by the royal family and is glad that Harry can go and show support on behalf of their family. But being the same day as Archie’s birthday, unfortunately, she’s just going to have to miss out on this one.”
Harry, for his part, is not expected to stay in the U.K. for very long after the ceremony. “I think it’s pretty clear that he’s going to minimize the amount of time that he’s in London,” royal expert Nick Bullen exclusively told Us last month. “He’s already said that he wants to be back for Archie’s birthday that afternoon, that evening, so it will be very much a flying visit.”
The structure of the coronation also made it difficult for Harry to communicate with some of his family members, including William, as everyone arrived at Westminster Abbey in different cars. After the service, Harry didn’t participate in the procession to Buckingham Palace, while William rode in a carriage with Princess Kate and their children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.
“There’ll be very little opportunity for any of them to really speak, because they’ll all be coming from different places,” Bullen told Us. “The operations of the day will actually help everybody out.”