Here they are confined to a simple role of extras. Harry, younger son of Charles III, and Andrew, brother of the king, will have no official role at the coronation, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Saturday May 6.
The Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York are no longer working members of the royal family, the former since his voluntary departure for the United States with his wife Meghan in 2020, while the latter fell out of favor after accusations of sexual assault.
If they had taken part in the funeral procession behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey after her death last September, this time Harry and Andrew will not walk behind the royal couple in the procession which will accompany them back to the Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. It is also unlikely that they will appear on the balcony for the traditional greeting of members of the royal family, even if the palace has not revealed who will surround Charles and Camilla for the occasion.
But even without an official role, Harry will undoubtedly attract all eyes. His place in Westminster Abbey will say a lot about the state of his relations with his father, and with his older brother, William, heir to the throne he did not spare in his Memoirs The Substitute, published in January last. He describes in particular an argument in 2019, during which William would have thrown him to the ground in the dog bowl.
William, heir to the throne
While the suspense has long hovered over his presence, confirmed only a few weeks before the coronation, it is the first time since the publication of this book that Harry will see his loved ones again, in particular the queen consort Camilla, whom he accuses of many evils in Le Suppléant.
The contrast will be great with the role devolved to William, who as heir to the throne will have to kneel and pledge allegiance to the monarch during the ceremony.
Meghan, Harry's wife, and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, have remained in California, where Harry is due to join them right after the coronation to celebrate Archie's fourth birthday.
Andrew is now used to keeping a low profile. He was banned from any official public appearance and stripped of his military titles in early 2022, after accusations of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl. A case that he settled with a financial agreement. His presence shortly after on the arm of the queen, in Westminster Abbey during a mass in tribute to his father, Prince Philip, who died in 2021, had aroused criticism.