In these months leading up to King Charles’s coronation in May, there’s been speculation about whether or not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be invited. Last week the big story about H&M was that they’d been asked to vacate their home, Frogmore Cottage, even though the Queen gifted them the residence and they paid themselves for the renovations. Was that a good look for the king, to seemingly out of nowhere start playing the landlord card on a property that is nowhere near the size or value of allllll the other properties he owns? Maybe that’s not the right question. Because, after all, landlords are gonna landlord. And this is the current head of the OG coloniser family pulling some landlord sh-t on his son and his wife. It was a choice. And for a monarch who’s trying to convince the public that his crown is still relevant, that his majesty will no longer represent its foundational history of bloodshed and theft, I’m not sure that was, strategically, the right move.
So …a pivot. New week, new story – the Palace leaked first that the Sussexes have been invited to the coronation and the Sussexes have also confirmed that they got an email and according to their rep, “An immediate decision on whether or not the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed at this time”.
Just a week after everybody was talking about how Charles told Harry and Meghan to pack it up and get out of Frogmore, now we’re talking about how he wants Harry and Meghan to be there as he gets kinged – like this is supposed to counterbalance the insensitivity with consideration. By British royal standards, especially over the last few years, this isn’t the worst ever PR move and it is certainly deflecting the conversation. That’s the upside, I guess.
But you know what the downside is?
It’s Charles’s coronation…and the conversation about his coronation has to do, once again, as usual, as always, about Harry and Meghan. They are the preoccupation of the coronation, not the king. And for Charles, who hates being overshadowed, by either his first wife, Princess Diana, or his children, William and Harry, there’s no upside to it.
For the royal traditionalists, there’s no upside to it either because their whole sh-t is about maintaining the status quo, preserving the process, all their f-cking rules and procedures they cling to – and time and again their main character is upstaged by those who they feel should be less than supporting characters.
If, however, you are producer, like a Bravo producer, LOL, producing the Coronation Reality Show, well, this is the dream. Because your main character, and his current wife, the Queen of Sidepieces, Camilla Consort, aren’t exactly high ratings bangers. Charles and Camilla have no cultural currency, no it factor – the excitement has to come from elsewhere. So on that level, if the goal here is to generate interest in and intrigue surrounding the coronation, once again that’s how Harry and Meghan are being used. And if we continue on that thread, approaching this like a reality show, well, you draw that out for a few episodes and build the suspense.
They’ve been invited. But will they actually show? Make it a cliffhanger for as long as you possibly can.