Meghan Markle feels excluded from coronation plans, she and Harry may avoid Charles ceremony

Planning a coronation? It doesn’t sound like a job for the faint-hearted or the easily-distracted. There is the holy oil to source, with it coming via a pharmacist working out of a backroom of a chemist shop on a council estate in Yorkshire; the special canopy to knock up, which means getting the Royal School of Needlework involved; and having to tuck the traditionally worn silk stockings and snazzy breeches in a Buckingham Palace storage bag because Charles wants to wear a military get-up instead.

(The fact that both Ed Sheeran and Adele have reportedly turned down the chance to warble their way into history as part of the coronation? That might explain why a footman is currently on their knees weeding out any of the Brit stars’ CDs from the Clarence House collection in retribution.)

However, there is of course no greater coronation headache, nay, migraine than the ongoing kerfuffle involving Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

In centuries gone by, having one’s Dear Papa accede to the throne was nothing but a sure-fire wheeze, the chance to move into a grander home, to pocket a vastly increased allowance, all the better to fritter away at White’s and Ascot, and coming with the occasional opportunity to have a crack at retaking Calais. What ho!

Except that Harry is not your usual regal son, having long since traded his cliched gilded cage of royal life to earn a crust extorting sympathy from the Netflix-watching and book-buying public on the West Coast.

The question on every royal commentator, courtier and Netflix executives’ lips right now is, will the Sussexes actually go to the coronation? Come May 6, will we see them taking their places in Westminster Abbey – Harry’s face, his trademark sour moue, and Meghan, head-to-toe in designer duds that cost more than a Holden Barina?

Enter stage left a report in The Spectator, a relatively new player in the royal reporting muck and raul which has run a story full of lines from a source that is “close” to the former Suits actress.

According to the piece, the Sussexes are “weighing up” whether they will attend Charles’ big day, because, those sources say that Meghan “feels excluded” from the event.

If there is any truth in this revelation, then it makes for a situation beyond parody, and I should know because that’s what they pay me for.

If we take The Spectator’s reporting at face value, then diddums indeed. Perhaps someone needs to explain to the actress turned blogger turned duchess turned content creator turned possible political candidate turned South Park punchline, that a coronation isn’t a family fun day so much as a positively ancient rite. Come that particular Saturday in May, when the World sees Charles anointed with the holy oil it will be the first time in history the World has witnessed a practice that dates back to the time of Athelstan in the ninth century, and whose roots, if you rewind even further, can even be traced back to the Old Testament.

Sadly, The Spectator has failed to reveal how Meghan might feel included here, meaning we will just have to leave it to our imaginations. (Charles tapping her to organise a nationwide mimosa brunch? Asking her to liaise with the Archbishop of Canterbury thus making sure she can ensure her favourite Eat, Pray, Love quotes are included in the service? Leaving her in charge of getting Prince Andrew and Fergie to the Abbey without causing a national incident?)

If Harry and Meghan are still to-ing and fro-ing about whether they will be in London for the coronation, that might have something to do with the fact that the actual invitations are only going out this week, according to the Telegraph.

This week, that paper’s Royal Editor Victoria Ward revealed that the couple are in quite the pickle over whether to go or not, with a friend of theirs saying, “It’s complicated. There are a million different variables. Anybody could understand the [couple’s] predicament.”

Complicating things, per the Telegraph, is that the couple don’t want to appear to ‘snub’ his father but if they do go, they “run the risk of being booed.”

If the duke and duchess do decide to jet into London, they will play no official part in proceedings. Charles has reportedly done away with the part of the coronation that would usually see royal dukes pay homage to him, with only Prince William, given he is Prince of Wales, playing an actual part in the ceremony.

So too will the Buckingham Palace balcony be likely off limits to Harry, Meghan and every other Windsor who does not work full-time to support the crown.

This does not change the fact that to say a lot is riding on the Sussexes’ coronation decision, for everyone involved, is a bit like calling the Titanic a slightly leaky boat.

The irony here is, if Meghan really does ‘feel excluded’ then she should take heart in the fact that her and Harry’s presence – or absence – will, either way, likely prove a distracting sideshow to the main event. No matter her ‘feelings’, the 41-year-old and her husband, will, by dint of their histrionics and pouty media outings of the last three years, at least get co-star billing.

In scenario a) the minute we see one of Meghan’s Gianvitto Rossi-clad feet stepping into the millennium-old Abbey, which has been the scene of coronations since 1066, TV cameras and the Global press horde will be trained on her and Aitch, Duke of the Manly Necklace to catch every blink and glance at the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Scenario b) would see the Sussexes decide they would prefer to stay home in California to listen to neighbour Orlando Bloom’s slam poetry or to doodle in their gratitude journals or to email Jeff Bezos, for the umpteenth time trying to cadge a development deal rather than having to face his wintry family.

Even then, the Sussexes’ non-attendance would set off an international media hoo-ha (that’s the technical term, you know) and take attention away from Charles and the Giant Historic Moment.

With just over two months to go, we have spare silk stockings and breeches going begging, a duchess with what is reportedly a case of some ruffled feathers and a conflicted duke whose chickens are coming home to roost.

After the last two months, Netflix and Penguin Random House might be happy as clams with their freshly bulging balance sheets but Harry now finds himself stuck with the consequences of launching Hurt Feelings Incorporated.

And the King?

I think we can pretty safely assume that Charles has not lost a single wink of sleep fretting about his daughter-in-law’s potentially hurt feelings about not being made to feel more of a part of things, with His Majesty tossing and turning in bed as Queen Camilla ignores him re-reading Black beauty with her night-time hot toddy.

After all, someone has got to work out what to get the Archbishop as a thank you present for conducting the long, tricky service. Shropshire maybe?

Daniela Elser is a writer and a royal commentator with more than 15 years’ experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.

Read related topics:Meghan Markle

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