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Why Prince Harry will be at King Charles III's coronation without his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex

Harry attending coronation without Meghan
Prince Harry will attend King Charles' coronation and Meghan will stay in U.S. 04:00

London — Prince Harry's confirmed plan to attend the coronation of his father, King Charles III, on May 6, without his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has fueled questions about his relationship with his family after years of public acrimony. Harry is expected to land in the U.K. on Friday and be in town for less than 48 hours.  

The coronation ceremony will be the first time Harry appears with his father and brother William, the Prince of Wales, since the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September.

Then, it seemed that King Charles was offering an olive branch to his estranged son, saying he wanted to express his "love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas."

Dashed hopes of a Harry and William truce 

Harry and William greeted members of the public outside Windsor Castle after the funeral, along with Meghan and William's wife Kate, the Princess of Wales. 

Prince and Princess of Wales And Duke And Duchess Of Sussex
Prince William and Catherine, the new Prince and Princess of Wales, at left, and Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, proceed to greet well-wishers outside Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022. Mark Kerrison/In Pictures/Getty

That brought hope of a reconciliation, Valentine Low, royal correspondent for the Times of London newspaper, told CBS News.

But despite how it may have appeared, Low said there was tension behind the scenes.

"There was definitely not any great personal warmth between the two couples," Low said. "I mean, when it was over, they went their separate ways. They didn't even get in the same car together. It was important to do it, but I think that the lack of warmth, the lack of coming together, it was pretty obvious even at the time."

Low said it was "predictable" that Meghan had decided not to attend the coronation.

"It becomes slightly less of a drama if she doesn't come," he said, suggesting that Meghan may have been hoping to "lessen the damage, lessen the pain."

Prince Harry on his family's reaction to his relationship with Meghan Markle | 60 Minutes 02:55

Harry and Meghan go public

Since Queen Elizabeth's funeral, Harry and Meghan have released a Netflix series detailing the family's internal strife. Harry has also published his book, "Spare," and promoted it with tell-all interviews.

"I wasn't being thrown to the wolves, I was being fed to the wolves," Meghan said in their Netflix special.

Speaking with Harry for an interview on "60 Minutes," Anderson Cooper asked the prince about a line in his book in which he refers to a "full-scale rupture" with his family. He asked Harry if he thought it could be healed.

"Yes," replied Harry, adding: "The ball is very much in their court... There needs to be a constructive conversation, one that can happen in private that doesn't get leaked." 

A "painful family dispute"

Low, from the Times newspaper, said the royal family, as an institution, would very much like the issues with Harry and Meghan to go away.

"These are people, you know, and we all have family rows, don't we?" he said, adding: "They just want it to be better. It's very hard to conduct what is a bitter and painful family dispute in the public eye."

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