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Harry and Meghan drama means two Coronation schedules
“Tense” negotiations are underway between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in order for them to attend King Charles’ Coronation in May. As reported by The Sun, a source told OK! magazine: “The Palace are trying to wrap up negotiations as quickly as possible because they can’t go right up to the wire. It could lead to chaos. 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. The Palace are organizing two schedules. One that includes the Sussexes and one the doesn’t. They want to be prepared for any eventuality.”
All William and Kate’s kids will be at Coronation
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—will join their parents and King Charles and Queen Camilla in the procession following Charles’ coronation going from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace, the London Times has reported. In rehearsal plans seen by the paper, the children will likely their parents in a carriage behind Charles and Camilla, who will be in the Gold State Coach.
George, 9, and second in line to the throne, was expected to be there, and may even have a role within the event, but Charlotte, 8, and Louis’ (he turns 5 on April 23) presence was not clear until now.
The rehearsal plans show those not taking part in the procession include Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Andrew, and his children Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The Times also confirmed previous reporting that Harry and Meghan’s children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, have not yet been invited to the event.
The other royals in the procession—which, the Times says, will be “significantly smaller, and cover a shorter route, than the procession after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation”—will be Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke of Kent and his sister Princess Alexandra.
Royals post Mother’s Day pics
George Bernard Shaw quipped that America and England were two countries separated by a common language, but we are also divided by the observance of Mother’s Day, which in the U.K. is today.
The royals have been busily posting snaps to mark the day, given a certain solemnity because it is the first without the great matriarch, of course. Kensington Palace posted pictures of Kate Middleton seated in the branches of a tree with her three kids, and also one of her cradling 4-year-old Prince Louis. “Happy Mother’s Day from our family to yours,” a caption read.
Meanwhile, the royal family Twitter account posted a picture of Charles as a baby with the queen, and Camilla with her mom. A message read: “To all mothers everywhere, and to those who may be missing their mums today, we are thinking of you and wishing you a special #MothersDay.”
Harry and Meghan’s rent mystery explained
Remember all the fuss about Harry and Meghan getting evicted from Frogmore cottage? Remember the close friend who told Omid Scobie that it was outrageous because it wasn’t just a “random rental?”
Well, it turns out it really wasn’t your typical rental as the couple didn’t actually hand over any rent on the cottage (at least not as most ordinary mortals understand the term, as a regular payment) for over two years.
Instead, after grandly announcing they wanted to refund a £2.4 million ($2.9 million) bill paid by the British taxpayer for the refurbishment of the property, the cost of those renovations was taken as “rent in lieu,” and the Sussexes simply stopped paying rent after five months.
The Royalist is no mathematician, but that looks rather like they actually refunded the treasury $2.9 million minus the cost of the rent, estimated by the Mail on Sunday to be a cool £690,000 ($820,000). Now we understand why they are so annoyed about being kicked out of the unbelievably valuable property!
Full marks to the Mail on Sunday, which managed to get palace to actually admit to the extraordinary deal which flies in the face of assertions made by the palace that the couple would pay a commercial rate to rent the property. The paper also unearthed the numerical tricks used to conceal the deal in the royal accounts.
Norman Baker, a former Cabinet Minister and Privy Counsellor who has long campaigned for greater financial transparency from the royal family said: “It is outrageous that Harry and Meghan should be able to live in a huge house on these terms while regular people struggle to put food on the table.”
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Security services told Harry to give 28 days’ notice of visits
Prince Harry was informed he should give 28 days notice to the police before coming to the U.K. so his requests for security could be considered, and described the security arrangements made for a 2021 visit as “patchy, disjointed and inadequate.” He said the 28-day notice requirement hindered his “ability to plan for and manage his security arrangements [and] may lead to [his] actual arrangements being inadequate and compromise his ultimate security.”
The disclosures were made as part of a libel claim he is pursuing against the Mail on Sunday. Harry says the paper falsely alleged he misrepresented his willingness to pay for his own police protection.
The Telegraph reports that Prince Harry’s lawyers state that he is “gravely concerned about his safety and security during future trips to the UK” and that he feels he has no choice but to take legal action “given the gravity of what is at stake for him and his family.”
Harry’s lawyers says this is evidenced by his car being “interdicted by paparazzi . . . needlessly placing the Duke of Sussex in a dangerous situation” during the 2021 visit. Harry said in the filing: “I was born into this and the threat will never decrease because of my status regarding the family.”
Oprah: Harry and Meghan should do what’s ‘best for them’
Oprah Winfrey thinks Harry and Meghan “should do what what they feel is best for them” when it comes to attending the Coronation. Winfrey appeared earlier this week on CBS Mornings with longtime friend Gayle King. As reported by People, Oprah replied, “I think they should do what they feel is best for them and for their family. That’s what I think. That’s what the bottom line—it comes down to: What do you feel like is the best thing for you?”
“They haven’t asked me my opinion,” Oprah added.
Winfrey conducted the bombshell interview with the couple in 2021, which laid bare their upset and discontent with the royal family, claiming that a senior royal—who remains unidentified—who questioned the color of their then-unborn baby’s skin. Meghan also detailed the lack of support within the palace she faced when, she said, she had felt suicidal.
This week in royal history
Two major royal separations were announced on this day sixteen years apart. On March 19, 1976, the separation was announced between Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon (aka Antony Armstrong-Jones who she had married in 1970); while on March 19, 1992, the separation was announced between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson—they had married in 1986.
The saga of the Coronation continues—and who will prevail—Harry and Meghan or the Palace—in the power plays around their and their children’s attendance at the May ceremony.
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