Charles keen to resolve rift as ‘alternative court’ threatens Firm

Marlene Koenig: Prince Harry likely to attend Charles’ Coronation

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In his first broadcast as monarch, King Charles III expressed his love for his younger son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle “as they continue to build their lives overseas”. It was described as an olive branch by commentators who suggested that the father and son relationship is in the process of being repaired. Later, in his tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Sussex wrote lovingly of his grandmother and honoured his father “in his new role as King Charles III”. The public indication of reconciliation came after years of speculation regarding the underlying tensions between the Sussexes and the Royal Family. In losing their matriarch, the royals had an opportunity to come together and put their rift behind them. 

Royal author Katie Nicholl has claimed the King is particularly keen to heal the family rift, saying that he knows it will otherwise “hang over his reign”. 

Ms Nicholl, author of ‘The New Royals’, appeared on this week’s episode of Royally Us. She said: “It is Charles’ intention to heal this family rift, to try and work this out because he knows this will hang over his reign. He cannot have this discord at the heart of the Royal Family. 

“I say in the book as well, this idea of an alternative court in Hollywood — Harry and Meghan’s alternative court — that does pose real problems for the Royal Family.” 

It has previously been claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attempting to “create an alternative woke royal family”. Angela Levin, a royal commentator and author of several royal biographies, claimed in an interview with FEMAIL that Meghan feels “enormous bitterness” that she wasn’t able to “modernise” the Firm. 

Speaking to the outlet in August, she opined: “I’ve thought for a long time that Harry and Meghan are trying to create an alternative woke royal family, the grandeur and the pomp and circumstance that surrounds them…When they went to America, when they went to the United Nations, and not just as somebody who’s interested and curious and one of us but with good credentials. 

“They are people who are very determined to show that their way is the best way…I may be wrong, I hope so, but the impression is that they don’t want to be royals yet they’re hanging on to their titles very, very tightly. When Meghan goes anywhere, she always uses her royal title. Now, why do that if you don’t actually like the Royal Family and you wanted to get shot of them?”

Conversations surrounding royal titles have been circulating since King Charles ascended the throne. Now that the former Prince of Wales is monarch, his grandchildren are technically princes and princesses, meaning that the Sussex children — three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet — have rights to royal titles. 

However, the children are still referred to as ‘Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’ and ‘Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor’ on the Royal Family website. There have reportedly been behind-the-scenes discussions regarding the titles of the Sussex children, with a solution yet to be determined.

But, regardless of the future titles of Archie and Lilibet, Charles is apparently “determined” to see his grandchildren growing up. 

Ms Nicholl said: “I think it’s fair to say that Charles and Harry are talking on a more regular basis. I think that the lead-up to the funeral — those days — when, fortunately, Harry and Meghan were in the country, was an opportunity for there to be conversations and the King is very open to that. 

“He loves his son. He’s always loved his son. He is determined to have him as a part of his life and of course, see his grandchildren who are growing up on the other side of the pond. It’s not just his interest as King — wanting there to be this sense of unity within the Royal Family — I think on a personal level it’s incredibly important to him, as a father and grandfather.” 

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Charles’ coronation will be held on May 6, 2023, eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and his accession to the throne. Coincidentally, Archie’s 4th birthday falls on the same day. 

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At this point, it is unclear whether Harry and Meghan will return to the UK to attend the ceremony, although Ms Nicholl claims the couple will definitely be invited. 

She told Entertainment Tonight: “Behind the scenes, Camilla has done really everything she can to try and bring this family back together, and press the importance of trying to move on from this rift, and I think she would be very pleased, as would the King for Harry and Meghan to be at the coronation.

“It remains to be seen whether or not they attend. But of course, it will be down to the Sussexes to make the ultimate decision as to whether they’re going to come over for King Charles’ coronation on May the 6th.”

She went on to insist that Charles did not “snub” his son and daughter-in-law by staging his coronation on their child’s birthday. The author explained: “Having the coronation on Archie’s birthday is definitely not a snub. I think it’s very much a happy coincidence. Obviously, a huge amount of planning has to go into an important moment in history, such as a coronation, and the royal calendar is full of anniversaries and birthdays, so I think this is absolutely one of those occasions where it’s a coincidence and hopefully a happy coincidence.”

It has previously been suggested that the Sussexes have plans to return to the UK more often. The couple renewed their lease on their former royal residence, Frogmore Cottage, earlier this year, indicating that they may stay there in the future. 

In keeping with a centuries-old tradition, King Charles will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in London. While the ceremony will be scaled back in comparison to previous coronations, many of the traditional elements will be maintained as will the significance of such a major royal event. 

A statement released by Buckingham Palace read: “The Coronation Ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey, London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside The Queen Consort.

“The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry. Further details will be announced in due course.”

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