Prince Harry to attend King Charles's coronation but Meghan will stay in US

Couple's children Archie and Lilibet will also not make the transatlantic trip

The news ends months of speculation about whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would appear on the king's big day. Reuters
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Prince Harry will attend the coronation of his father King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on May 6, Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday.

But his wife Meghan and their children will not make the trip from their home in California, the palace added.

The news ends months of speculation about whether the couple would appear on the king's big day, but the Duchess of Sussex will undoubtedly be accused by some of snubbing the monarch and the royal family.

Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May,” the palace said in a statement.

“The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

Archewell, the Sussexes' charitable foundation, issued a near identical statement to that of the palace confirming the duke would join guests at the coronation.

May 6 is also Prince Archie's fourth birthday.

Omid Scobie, a trusted contact of the couple, tweeted: "I understand that Archie's fourth birthday (also on May 6) played a factor in the couple's decision."

"Expect it to be a fairly quick trip to the UK for Prince Harry, who will only be attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey," he added.

Prince Harry's indecision about attending has been a particular concern for organisers who could not finalise seating arrangements, transport and security for VIPs.

Organisers were “exasperated” with the couple, who have publicly complained about the family over the past three years in a string of documentaries, interviews and a book, the Mirror reported.

The paper claimed the duke and duchess have been in “email correspondence” with the palace about their attendance, but the prince reportedly was in a “predicament” about whether or not to confirm their place.

King Charles’s coronation carriages unveiled

The Gold State Coach on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace, London, Tuesday April 4, 2023, in which King Charles III and the Queen Consort will return in to Buckingham Palace after the coronation on May 6.  King Charles III is taking a short cut and smoother ride to Westminster Abbey, trimming the procession route his mother took in 1953 as he aims for a more modest coronation that will include some modern touches, Buckingham Palace said Sunday April 9, 2023.  (Yui Mok / PA via AP)

Prince Harry’s attendance comes despite the family rift that was revealed in his bestselling book, Spare.

The revelations, including details of private conversations with his father and brother, Prince William, fanned tension.

Spare also included allegations that members of the royal family regularly feed the press unflattering information about other members of the House of Windsor in exchange for positive coverage of themselves.

Details of the coronation have been emerging as the date creeps closer.

The procession after the ceremony will be significantly shorter than that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The king’s coronation procession will be 2km — roughly a quarter of the queen's celebratory journey.

The newly crowned King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will make their way back from Westminster Abbey on a tried and tested royal route.

They will travel through Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch, and down The Mall back to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth's route was an 8km trip around central London, with the 27-year-old monarch waving to crowds along Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

More than 850 community and charity representatives from across the UK have been invited to the coronation.

Invitations to the May 6 service at Westminster Abbey in central London have been extended to more than 450 British Empire Medal recipients in recognition of their contributions to the country.

Updated: May 02, 2023, 7:48 AM