King Charles is preparing for his coronation and, according to Royal expert Tom Bower, things aren’t looking pretty for the House of Windsor. At 74, Charles will be the oldest king to be crowned in the history of England. He’s waited 70 years for this moment, and the tension is so palpable he’s putting the term “Bridezilla” to shame. According to Bower, it’s partly Meghan Markle’s fault, whose outsider defiance and influence on Harry has left King Charles “paralyzed with fear.”
Videos by Rare
Royal Family Tensions Have Always Existed
The British monarchy has seen its fair share of headstrong family members since its official start in the early 11th century. The current House of Windsor, established in 1917, is no exception. While in the past, overt disobedience or recalcitrance would often lead to disastrous endings, such as beheadings, the modern-day Royal Family faces a different reality.
When modern-day rifts occur that put a blight on public perception and popularity of say, a King or Queen, there are still repercussions. No one gets locked away in a tower of course, so everything becomes very symbolic — in a passive-aggressive way. In the case of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the stifling formalities and subtle racist jabs flung towards them, and their children, were enough to flee the entire lifestyle altogether. Neither the late Queen Elizabeth II nor her son, Charles, were pleased about the shake-up.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Royal Rift May Have Been Provoked by King Charles and Camilla
Tensions have been running high between the Sussexes and senior Royal family members for some time now. Meghan and Harry officially stepped away from their official duties and began airing their dirty laundry. It started with an Oprah interview mentioning systemic racism. While neither Sussex would name any names, author Christopher Anderson later claimed that it was Charles who was concerned about the color of their children’s skin. More recently, Tom Bower claimed that Charles’ wife Camilla made a racist joke about “ginger afro hair.”
The Late Queen Elizabeth II Seemed to Retaliate Against Sussexes After They Stepped Down
After moving to California in 2020, their security funds were cut, leading to a legal fight between Prince Harry and the British government. He and Meghan chose not to fly to the UK to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service, citing lack of security as a primary cause.
Last June, neither Meghan Markle nor Prince Harry were in attendance on the Royal family’s balcony during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They were spotted in the background but seemingly didn’t come out into the daylight, where their presence would have symbolized a stronger bond with the other royals.
King Charles Seems to be Honoring His Mother’s Sentiments, Retaliating
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were again snubbed when Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September. At her funeral, they were seated as far away as possible from the upper royal family members, at the end of a pew and next to disgraced Prince Andrew’s daughters Eugenie and Beatrice. Harry was also not allowed to wear his military uniform like the rest of his kin, instead wearing a black suit.
In March of this year, the Sussexes were officially evicted from their Windsor estate, Frogmore Cottage, by King Charles. Of course, with previous patterns of their privileges being taken away, and that causing more issues regarding travel for official Royal matters, the eviction could be seen as having an impact on future appearances. If these blows were not enough, the Sussexes were also moved all the way to the bottom of the Royal’s family website, with only Prince Andrew sitting below them.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Invited to King Charles’ Coronation Despite Ongoing Tensions
But days later, it was revealed that Harry and Meghan were invited to attend King Charles’ coronation. At that point, it was unclear if the Sussexes would go. Numerous sources reported that if they did go, they’d be heavily ostracized, again disallowed on the family balcony, and not a part of the family procession. Conversely, it was reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton would be a part of the procession, traveling directly behind King Charles and with their three children, the youngest who is almost 5.
There Has Been Ongoing Concern About the Sussexes’ Children, Archie and Lilibet, Being Ostracized
The tension led to the ongoing debate over whether or not Archie and Lilibet would get official “Prince” and “Princess” titles (they reportedly will), and if they’d be invited to the coronation at all. As of recently, it’s not clear if Archie (3) and Lilibet (1) have yet to be invited. However, as one source close to the royals told The Telegraph, discussions are ongoing regarding Camilla’s own grandchildren; to not include the King’s would be “wholly improper.”
This leads to another issue altogether. When King Charles chose the date for his coronation, of all the days he could have chosen, he chose little Archie’s fifth birthday. This has led to a flurry of questions over whether or not that was a power play, and one meant to cause Prince Harry and Meghan Markle either a scheduling issue or grief. The date was chosen in October when the Sussexes were already accused of pursuing a “royal vengeance,” and prior to the release of their Netflix series and Harry’s tell-all memoir. How things may have possibly gotten better between then and now is hard to discern, and unlikely.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Gave a List of Demands if They Attend the Coronation
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry then responded to King Charles with a list of demands for his coronation. The demands included being a part of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony and acknowledging their children, as well as giving some kind of a shout-out to Archie’s birthday.
“The palace is trying to wrap up negotiations as quickly as possible because they can’t go right up to the wire. It could lead to chaos,” a source told the New York Post. “It could very well be that it ends in stalemate, and they won’t attend. But the palace is doing everything in its power to not let that happen.”
Tom Bower thinks all of this drama is causing King Charles supreme amounts of stress.
King Charles Was Already Getting Bridezilla About His Outfit, Procession, and Public Image
“Never in recent history has a British monarch on the eve of the 1,000-year-old ceremony in Westminster Abbey felt so vulnerable,” Bower wrote in an op-ed for The Sun. According to Bower, Charles and Camilla are “rehearsing every detail,” while still undecided on details small and large. What will he wear? Who will be in the procession?
But making matters worse is the fact that Charles has also been notoriously unpopular among the public, with his approval rating at one point dropping to 4%. Some of the public’s disapproval may have been related to his policies and being outspoken about issues like the environment and social well-being. Some of it may be due to his quick temper, which has resulted in sudden firings amongst staff.
But there was also his beloved late wife Diana, and his affair with Camilla, which led to Diana’s unhappiness. The interpersonal drama caused his popularity to take a massive blow, similarly to the ongoing feud with his son, Harry, and his daughter-in-law.
Charles Allegedly Is Calculating When Dealing With Public Relations and Public Perception
According to Tom Bower, King Charles has been acutely aware and methodical in how he deals with public relations, which has led to “an unexpected honeymoon of popularity.”
“His carefully rehearsed TV address after the Queen’s death, constantly rewritten over the previous four years, won him universal praise,” wrote Bower. “Equally fortunate for the King is that Camilla, so reviled for many years, has been accepted as the Queen by a majority of Britons. That transformation was not accidental. With astute manipulation of the media, Charles plotted his wife’s public acceptance.”
King Charles Is Allegedly “Paralyzed by Fear and Indecision” Over Meghan Markle and His Son
But Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are a bit of a loose cannon, at least in King Charles’ eyes. He can’t control what they say to the public, and they have a seemingly endless number of ways to get their stories heard.
“With just a few years available on the throne, our temperamental King is obsessed with how history will remember him,” writes Bower. “In calculating whether to allow the Sussexes to attend his Coronation, Charles has reverted to his familiar stance — dithering, worrying about his image.”
According to Bower, the Sussexes’ attendance may steal Charles’ thunder by virtue of their popularity. But so too may their lack of attendance, and should they attend, whether or not they are part of the formal processions.
“Ever since Megxit, Meghan and Harry have humiliated the King and the Royal Family.
Paralyzed by fear and indecision, Charles has failed to suppress the Sussexes’ vile vitriol,” writes Bower. “With just six weeks before the historic day, the King needs to conjure a glorious image of his reign, and that means making many tough decisions.”