Prince Harry of Britain will go to his father King Charles’ coronation next month without his wife Meghan, the couple said on Wednesday, putting an end to months of rumors about their plans.
In a 1,000-year-old tradition, Charles is crowned in front of nobles and international heads of state. However, the 38-year-old son’s involvement was in question after he harshly criticized his family in a book and documentary series.
Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, will attend the May 6 event, according to Buckingham Palace and a spokeswoman for the couple. Meghan will stay in California with the couple’s two young children.
“The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”
Harry and Meghan stepped down from royal duties in 2020 and relocated to California. They said they wanted to build a new, independent life, free from the scrutiny of the British press.
They came to an agreement with the royal family that they would not attend any future official royal events or tours and they have only been seen a few times in the UK since leaving, including at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, who died after a 70- year reign.
Tensions soon flared following their departure, and in recent months Harry has released a memoir of intimate revelations about the British royal family, while the pair have also appeared in a Netflix documentary series.
Among their many allegations, they said some royals, including stepmother Camilla and brother William – heir to the throne – leaked stories to tabloids to protect themselves or improve their reputations.
They also said the royal family dismissed the press’ race-based hounding of Meghan as a rite of passage, comparing her treatment to the intense media intrusion his mother Princess Diana endured before her death.
Some media reports had suggested Harry wanted an apology from his family before agreeing to attend the coronation – an event which will be marked by a public holiday in the UK.
When asked in an interview in January if he would attend, Harry said: “A lot can happen in between. But the door is always open.”
Buckingham Palace had made it clear that Harry – one of the most beloved members of the royal family before leaving the country – had been invited to the event.
Harry was last in the UK at the end of March, attending a court case he and other high-profile figures brought against the editor of the Daily Mail newspaper over allegations of phone tapping and other privacy violations.
The publisher rejects the allegations. The case is one of several the prince has brought against British newspapers.