The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would like to be part of the ‘special family moment’ when members of the royal family gather on the balcony at Buckingham Palace at the King’s coronation, sources have claimed.
Despite explosive accusations made by the couple about the royal family in their £100 million Netflix documentary and by Prince Harry in his tell-all memoir, Spare, the Sussexes were extended an invitation to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the Bank Holiday weekend.
Although the couple have not yet confirmed whether they will attend, it has been reported that they are hoping to be at the celebrations, and would like Prince Archie’s birthday to be recognised in some way during the during the day.
Sources also suggested they would also like to be included in some way when members of the royal family appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured with Queen Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 2018 before they stepped down as senior royals) are said to be keen to appear on the balcony of the palace in May following King Charles’s coronation, sources have claimed
Typically, balcony appearances are reserved for working members of the royal family, however it has been reported the couple believe they should be a part of that ‘special family moment’.
A source told OK! earlier this month that discussions are ongoing about the Duke and Duchess’s involvement in the coronation, including the question of whether they and their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, will appear on the balcony.
They said that the question is a ‘sticking point’ because typically, non-working royals don’t appear, however they added: ‘Harry and Meghan are keen that they too should be a part of that special family moment.’
The source added the parents-of-two had requested to stay in Frogmore Cottage, where they had lived before moving to the US, when they return to the UK for the coronation. They are also said to want their children to spend more time with family members, including Princess Eugenie’s son August who is a similar age to Lilibet.
Another hope of the Sussexes is that Archie’s fourth birthday will be marked in some way despite it falling on the same day as the coronation.
The Sussexes (pictured at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee last year) are also thought to want Prince Archie’s fourth birthday, which is the same day as the coronation, to be recognised in some way
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited to the coronation in May but they have not yet confirmed if they will attend
The source said: ‘The Sussexes have asked for some kind of celebration or acknowledgement to be factored into the day’s plans to ensure that his fourth birthday won’t get lost during the momentous day.’
During Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in June last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour, which kicked off the week of celebrations.
Royal author and friend of the Sussexes Omid Scobie claimed at the time that the decision not to include the couple on the balcony was mutual.
In a column for Yahoo! News, he wrote that ‘both sides’ had agreed it was best they did not appear, although the Sussexes were ‘keen’ to be a part of the overall celebrations.
With regard to the King’s Coronation, a royal insider claimed earlier this year that it was ‘unlikely’ the Sussexes would be invited onto the balcony, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Following the release of Harry’s explosive memoir in January, it was not clear if the Sussexes would attend the coronation at all, after he made strong accusations against his family.
Among the claims Harry made in Spare were an incident when Prince William pushed him to the ground during a fight on the grounds of the Windsor Estate, and that he ‘begged’ his father King Charles not to marry Queen Consort Camilla, fearing she would become a ‘wicked stepmother’.
If the Sussexes do attend the coronation, as they are now expected to, it will be the first time their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, will see the family since Lilibet, one, was christened in an intimate ceremony and party at the couple’s Montecito mansion a few weeks ago.
Harry and Meghan invited King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales to the California ceremony but they did not attend.
A statement by the Sussexes’ referred to the 21-month-old as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ – revealing for the first time that the couple has decided to invoke their right to use ‘Princess’ for Lilibet, six months since the accession to the throne of King Charles last September. Archie will be called prince.
Harry and Meghan are said to not want to deny their children the chance to inherit royal titles from their father – seeing it as their birthright – but will allow Archie and Lili the chance to decide whether to drop or keep using the royal titles when they are older. Meghan famously told Oprah Winfrey that Archie was not given the title of prince because of his race, but this was disputed by the palace and constitutional experts.
Lili was baptised by the Anglican Bishop of Los Angeles, John Taylor. Afterwards guests and family including Doria Ragland danced to a playlist containing songs from Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception at Windsor Castle. A gospel choir also reportedly performed Oh Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine.