EXCLUSIVE Palace expects Harry and Meghan to attend Coronation

EXCLUSIVE Palace expects Harry and Meghan to attend Coronation: Royal staff are drawing up seating and dining plans for duke and duchess

  • Palace is expecting Harry and Meghan to attend King Charles III’s Coronation 
  • Royal staff ‘drawn up seating and dining plans for Duke and Duchess to attend’ 

Buckingham Palace is making plans for Harry and Meghan to attend the King’s Coronation, The Daily Mail can reveal.

Staff organising logistics for the historic occasion have been instructed to include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their programme for May 6, sources have said.

Insiders caution that there has been no word yet that the couple have formally accepted King Charles’s invitation, which their spokesman revealed was recently sent to them in California ‘by email’.

It is likely that negotiations around what events the couple would attend, where they would sit, what they would wear and, of course, their security, will go right to the wire.

But the fact that officials within the Master of the Household’s Department and Lord Chamberlain’s Office are anticipating their attendance is the strongest suggestion yet that the Sussexes could make an appearance, despite spending much of the last three years throwing brickbats at the monarchy as an institution as well as the rest of the Royal Family.

The Duchess of Sussex smiling as she leaves Gracias Madre in West Hollywood on International Women’s Day

Staff organising logistics for the historic occasion have been instructed to include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their programme for King Charles’ (pictured) Coronation on May 6, sources said

Insiders caution that there has been no word yet that the couple have formally accepted King Charles’s invitation. Pictured: King Charles and Prince Harry at Windsor Castle last September 

One source told the Mail last night: ‘Harry and Meghan are being factored into all of the planning…. the cars, the seating plans, dining arrangements, everything.

‘No one knows for certain whether this means they have definitely accepted – it could, of course, be just in case they do – but it’s clearly not a “no”.

‘The staff are certainly working on the expectation they are coming. These kind of arrangements have to be made well in advance.’

A second source with knowledge of Harry and Meghan’s thoughts on the issue backed the suggestion they could fly over, saying: ‘The indication is that they are, although there is a lot that needs to be worked through first.’

A spokesman for the Sussexes revealed last week: ‘I can confirm the duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the Coronation.’

Meghan Markle outside a restaurant in West Hollywood yesterday

The Duchess of Sussex is pictured yesterday as she leaves restaurant Gracias Madre in West Hollywood

But they added: ‘An immediate decision on whether the duke and duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.’

An appearance at the first coronation of a British monarch for 70 years would certainly burnish the couple’s royal credentials.

Their time as working royals and relationships with family members have formed the basis of their biggest media deals in the US so far.

READ MORE: Smiling Meghan enjoys brunch with friends in LA as Buckingham Palace confirms her children HAVE become a prince and princess and line of succession is updated in the wake of Lilibet’s christening

The news this week that the couple have decided to start publicly calling their children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet is also being interpreted as another sign of their continuing determination to retain an association with the British monarchy, despite their relentless attacks on it.

The King has seen his grandson, who turns four on the day of his crowning, only a handful of times since he was born. He has met Lilibet, 21 months, just once when she came with her parents to England for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

If they do fly to the UK it is likely that the duke and duchess would attend a minimal number of public events over the three-day celebratory weekend, which is focused around the ceremony itself at Westminster Abbey on the Saturday.

The Royal Family are expected to make an appearance on the balcony back at Buckingham Palace afterwards and ordinarily Harry would be expected to join his father, along with his wife.

It has already been suggested that this will be limited to working royals, avoiding any unnecessary awkwardness around the Sussexes and the disgraced Duke of York.

The king could yet hold out a further olive branch to his estranged son, however, as some in palace circles are speculating.

But that would take a huge act of forgiveness from many family members present.

The Prince of Wales has privately made no secret of his anger about Harry’s behaviour, which has seen a series of high-profile media interviews to promote his tell-all memoir Spare.

The estranged brothers have not spoken for months and William is in no mood to forgive what Harry has put his family through, especially his wife Kate.

But the prince – who magnanimously made a point of inviting Harry and Meghan to accompany himself and Kate when they met the crowds at Windsor following the late Queen’s death – would not stop his brother from attending nor would he wish to spoil his father’s big day, sources say.

As William will be taking part in the ceremony and his brother will not, it may be that the pair would not even be required to meet.

Pictured: Harry speaks to his father as his wife Meghan Markle looks on during Trooping The Colour 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured last year, previously confirmed they have been invited to the King’s Coronation

King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, leave after a visit to Bolton Town Hall on January 20, 2023

The Sussexes could use their visit to the UK to clear out their remaining belongings from Frogmore Cottage (pictured) 

Harry, 38, has been demanding an apology – or at least a full and frank conversation with his father and brother – if he were to attend.

But the Mail revealed last week that Charles, 74, and William, 40, are in no mood to pander to his demands.

The Sussexes could use their visit to the UK to clear out their remaining belongings from Frogmore Cottage, which they have now been given notice to evict by the early summer.

If they stay there they would be protected by the existing Windsor Castle ‘ring of steel’ and entitled to Metropolitan Police protection when travelling to and from official engagements.

Harry is currently pursuing legal action against the Home Office for removing his Scotland Yard bodyguards when he and Meghan quit royal duties and moved to California.

He has previously said he does not feel safe bringing his family back to the UK although he did travel with them last year.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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