While the new monarch, 74, was flanked by his wife, Queen Camilla, as well as son Prince William, daughter-in-law Princess Kate, and their three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, as he greeted the public from the palace on Saturday, May 6, the Duke of Sussex missed both the Coronation Procession and the traditional balcony appearance.
“Harry isn’t part of the procession or the balcony appearance,” royal expert Nick Bullen exclusively told Us Weekly before the coronation, acknowledging that only working royals were allowed to attend those specific events. (Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, famously stepped down from their duties as senior royals in 2020 and have been at odds with the royal family ever since.)
“Do you remember the very final balcony shot of [Queen Elizabeth II] after the [Platinum] Jubilee [in June 2022]? It was [Elizabeth], Charles and Camilla, and William, Kate, and her three children. That’s the message to the world,” the editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, told Us in April, adding: “And that message will be pushed out again.”
Bullen previously explained that Harry’s trip to the U.K. is “very much a fly-in visit.” The prince is keen to “minimize the amount of time that he’s in London,” the expert shared. “He’s already said that he wants to be back for Archie’s birthday that afternoon, that evening.”
Charles’ coronation fell on the same day as his youngest grandson’s 4th birthday. While the Invictus Games founder was in London to watch his father become crowned king, the Duchess of Sussex, 41, was at home in California with their children: Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 23 months.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world. Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first,” a source exclusively told Us last month after the palace revealed the Sussexes’ coronation plans. “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.”
Meanwhile, Charles — who succeeded the throne upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022 — was “sad” that the Suits alum couldn’t be there for the momentous occasion, a second insider explained.
The new monarch “was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between [him and Meghan],” the source said. A third insider noted that despite his disappointment about his daughter-in-law, the king “is thrilled [Prince] Harry will be in attendance.”
Though he did not appear on the balcony, Harry was present at Westminster Abbey for his father’s ceremony — a significant moment for both the prince and The Firm, who have been estranged for years.
Harry wore a morning suit for the occasion as he was not allowed to wear his military uniform since he is no longer a working royal. The prince arrived at the ceremony on Saturday morning looking jovial and chatting with cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, whom he was seated next to at Westminster Abbey. Harry and his cousins sat in the third row, with the military veteran leaning forward at one point to share a sweet moment with his aunt Princess Anne, who was seated in front of him.
Harry paid tribute to his father during the ceremony, chanting, “God Save King Charles!” with the rest of the congregation.