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Prince Harry at the coronation: How the royal ceremonies had him on the sidelines

King Charles' relationship with Harry & Meghan
King Charles III should reach out to Harry and Meghan after coronation, royal expert says 01:38

Prince Harry attended his father King Charles II's coronation without his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, or their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. He also had no formal role during the ceremony and did not appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony with other members of the family. 

In April, Buckingham Palace announced Harry, who is fifth in line for the throne, would attend the coronation while Meghan remained in California with their young children. The day of the coronation, May 6, happens to be Archie's birthday. 

Harry's brother, Prince William, who is first in line for the throne, had a key role in the ceremony. After their father was crowned king, William kissed his father and pledged his loyalty to him. William's 9-year-old son, Prince George, also served as a Page of Honor for King Charles, and Camilla's grandsons served as three of her Pages of Honor. 

Harry has been estranged from his family since he and his family moved to California in 2020. In the Netflix documentary released last year, he and Meghan said she faced racism and mistreatment from the British press and claimed the royal family did not offer support. Her mental health suffered and with a lack of help from the family and they worried about the lack of security for their family, leading the pair to decide to leave their roles as senior royals. 

Their Majesties King Charles III And Queen Camilla - Coronation Day
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves Westminster Abbey following the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London, England. TOBY MELVILLE / Getty Images

Harry made further accusations and other public comments about the royals in his book, "Spare," and during the press tour for the book. 

The invitation to the coronation seemed like an olive branch from his father, but it appears Harry's relationships with his family members are still strained. 

He and his uncle, the disgraced Prince Andrew, did not have roles during the ceremony and did not join the procession, as neither are "working" members of the family. Instead, Harry arrived with his cousin, Prince Andrew's daughter Princess Beatrice.

Where did Harry sit at the coronation ceremony?

Harry did not sit with other senior royals, instead he was three rows back during the elaborate ceremony. He did, however, appear to be smiling in many photos from the event.

During the ceremony, he sat next to Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank, and behind his aunt, Princess Anne, and Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, the Duke of Kent, according to BBC News

Their Majesties King Charles III And Queen Camilla - Coronation Day
 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, on May 6, 2023 in London, England. Richard Pohle / Getty Images

He was seen getting into a car alone after the ceremony. Prince Andrew, who also appeared in the third row, left with Eugeine and Brooksbank.

Was Harry allowed to join the "working royals" on the balcony?

Harry did not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, a longtime tradition for senior members of the royal family. Instead, newly-crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla stood with the "working" members of the family as well as their grandkids — many of whom played roles during the ceremony.

Their Majesties King Charles III And Queen Camilla - Coronation Day
Left to right: Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor; Sir Timothy Laurence; Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh; Princess Charlotte of Wales; Princess Anne, Princess Royal; Catherine, Princess of Wales; Prince Louis of Wales; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Prince George of Wales; King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the coronation on May 6, 2023. / Getty Images

Harry and Meghan attended Queen Elizabeth II's funeral last year, but tension remained behind the scenes, according to Valentine Low, royal correspondent for the Times of London newspaper. "There was definitely not any great personal warmth between the two couples," Low told CBS News about Princes Harry and William and their wives. Low said Meghan may have skipped the coronation so as to lessen the drama.

Meghan planned to have a "low-key party at home" for Archie's fourth birthday, a source told People magazine. 

U.K. publication The Sun reported Harry would only be in the U.K. for about 24 hours and would leave promptly after the coronation ceremony. CBS News contributor Tina Brown confirmed that he would not attend the private lunch for the family members. 

Is Prince Harry still in line to the throne?

Harry is still fifth in line to the throne. His father is king, his brother, Prince William is first in line and William's children – Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis – are second, third and fourth in line, respectively. Harry's son Prince Archie is sixth in line for the throne and daughter Princess Lilibet is seventh in line. 

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