Alexander Larman

How King Charles can solve his Prince Harry coronation conundrum

Most men in their seventies, if they had to attend an arduous public event, would hope that their younger son’s presence would be the last thing they had to worry about. They might assume their offspring would be on hand to attend to their ageing parent; to offer comfort and support when required, and to discreetly deal with any difficulties that arose during the course of the day. That their child would be the greatest cause of the angst they might feel about the ceremony is not, in virtually every imaginable case, a woe that most people could ever consider.

For King Charles, alas, what’s going on with Prince Harry is probably most of what he thinks about these days. His son’s bestselling memoir, available in all reputable and disreputable outlets alike, has sold more copies than any non-fiction book in recent memory; and so Charles has the disgruntling knowledge that his child is now considerably more famous than he is. Under normal circumstances, such facts could safely be ignored. But their estrangement is a matter of public record, and now, with the coronation less than five months away, something has to be done about it.

William is said to fear that his younger brother might pull some stunt

It continues to look impossible for the Royal Family to maintain their silence over the furore occasioned by the Duke of Sussex; the best way of lancing the boil appears to be for Harry’s brother, the Prince of Wales, to give a public interview in which he expresses his compassion for his brother, and thereby kills the issue of his sensational public comments with fraternal kindness.

This has not happened, and so the bandwagon rumbles on. Yet now it has been suggested both that King Charles has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to act as a go-between, and that he might make his own address on the eve of the coronation, albeit without any reference to his son.

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