Less than 90 days away from King Charles’s coronation, and by all accounts, the formal invitations still haven’t gone out. Last I heard, the guest list was still being frantically pulled together, because Charles was “demanding” diversity be on display. Meaning, the Windsors are going to be calling up their few Black and British Asian friends to be used as window-dressing. All of which makes it even more pointed that Charles can’t pick up the phone and speak to Prince Harry, much less invite Harry, Harry’s biracial wife and Harry’s two mixed race children to the Chubbly. Speaking of, the Washington Post’s Post Elizabeth column has an interesting piece, written by Autumn Brewington: “Time for the royal family to make up with Harry and Meghan. Now.”
But all the chatter about coronation, carriages and the rest are mere window dressing while the House of Windsor remains at war with itself. If the royals — or their advisers — were smart, they would seek peace with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
There has been no official word on who’s attending the coronation or which royals will appear on the palace balcony afterward. Charles has reportedly enlisted the Archbishop of Canterbury to broker a deal for Harry to attend.
Whatever one thinks of Harry and Meghan, the monarchy depends on optics. Royal parades and processions are routine spectacles with a singular goal: engendering goodwill and support for what is ultimately an elitist, classist, hereditary institution. Smearing the palace machinery — or dishing on family dysfunction — ruins the mystique.
There’s also a tension between the idea that this will be a “diverse” coronation and the question of whether Charles embraces the mixed-race part of his family. The sight of Charles, in crown, holding up Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie, on coronation day would go a long way to reverse recent damage. It could also signal royal pride in their family’s diversity — or at least acknowledge the value in reflecting more of the people over whom the king reigns.
The palace has been hoping the public will tire of Harry and Meghan and that the media will move on. But counting on the old rules to apply in 2023 looks like a bad bet. “Please move ahead with speed,” Jamaica’s prime minister said last month, urging his constitutional minister to pursue becoming a republic. Another Commonwealth country, Australia, recently announced plans to remove the British monarch from its $5 note — the only paper currency on which the U.K. head of state appears — and instead feature a design honoring Indigenous inhabitants.
First of all, the image of King Charles holding Archie aloft at the Clowning is both hilarious and horrifying. That… is not what happens at a coronation. Even if the Sussexes were invited and did come to this fakakta Chubbly, their children would not be included in the ceremony. But I agree with the larger point, which is that the Sussexes are the specters at the banquet, or in this case, the Chubbly. It’s been three years since the Sussexit and absolutely no one in the British media OR the royal establishment has “tired” of talking about the Sussexes. Charles can’t just ignore them or get someone else to do the heavy lifting.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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