A few weeks after the publication of his autobiography Spare, Prince Harry continues to fuel the debate. Will he attend the coronation of his father, King Charles III, on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London? The monarch in doubt. According to the British daily The Times, the son of Elizabeth II asked Justin Welby, primate of the Anglican Church, to mediate with his youngest son, in order to convince him to attend the ceremony.
The Church of England and the British Crown have a long history together. In 1534, the English Parliament conferred on King Henry VIII the title of “Supreme Head of the Church of England”. Apart from his daughter Mary I who remained Catholic, the title of “Supreme Governor of the Church of England” passed on to all other monarchs. Even today, the British sovereign must be of the Anglican faith.
Harry, the second son of Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, has long been considered the rebel of the family. At 21, he made headlines by wearing a Nazi costume at a fancy dress party. In 2020, the rupture breaks out. He left the United Kingdom for Canada, then California with his wife, American actress Meghan Markle. Queen Elizabeth announces that both spouses renounce their royal titles and their obligations to the Crown.
After a Netflix documentary and numerous interviews, the little brother has once again added fuel to the fire with the release of his autobiographical book Spare, on January 10. He reveals that he killed “25 Taliban” during his missions with the British army in Afghanistan and details a violent altercation he had with his older brother and “sworn enemy”, William, future king of England. . This book, whose sales quickly exploded, contributed to tarnishing his image and further alienating him from the royal family.
His father Charles III does not want any turmoil at his coronation. The precedent, that of his mother in 1953, brought together 27 of the 36 million Britons of the time in front of television. This year, three days of festivities are planned, as well as a concert with international stars. The event will have a strong media resonance. The absence of Harry would cause a lot of ink to flow, believes the 74-year-old sovereign. He does not want the image of the royal family to be further damaged.
The Crown Under Attack
A new controversy would give food for thought to supporters of the republican model. Within the Commonwealth, this feeling is growing, as in Barbados, which has chosen to become a republic in 2021, or in Jamaica, where criticism is rife against the former colonial power. Young Britons, for their part, speak more critically than their elders about the Crown and its privileges.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, had married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. He will try to play the role of mediator and highlight the consequences of the king’s son’s decision on the image of the Crown. The new monarch, marked by his discretion, wishes to bring up to date the famous adage of the Windsor house, “Never complain, never explain” (“Never complain, never justify yourself”).
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