Britons are more certain than ever that Prince Harry will attend King Charles’ coronation in London on May 6, after the prince made a surprise appearance at the Royal Courts of Justice this week.
Harry was in the English capital to attend hearings connected with his lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publishers of the Daily Mail, concerning historic phone-hacking.
Whether or not Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will be in attendance at the crowning ceremony of King Charles at Westminster Abbey has been widely speculated on. The prince exposed the widening rift with his family in two major media releases in December and January—his six-part Netflix docuseries and bombshell memoir.
British bookmakers at Sky Bet have cut their odds on Harry’s coronation attendance, offering 1/5 chances that he will be present and 10/3 that he won’t.
In percentage terms, this sees the market predicting an 83.3 percent implied probability that he will go to the coronation and a 23.1 percent chance he won’t.
These numbers have been cut incrementally throughout March and again since just last week. The same bookmakers were offering odds of 1/4 (80 percent implied probability) that Harry will attend, opposed to 11/4 (26.7 percent) that he will not.
Harry’s unannounced visit to the London courts this month has strengthened expectations of a May visit. This is despite the royal being embroiled in an ongoing and lengthy legal battle with the U.K. Home Office over the removal of his state-funded bodyguards when he stopped being a working member of the royal family in 2020.
Though the official list of coronation invitations has not been released, a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan confirmed earlier this month that the couple have received “email correspondence” from the king’s office. However, there would not be any confirmation that the couple will travel to the coronation until nearer the time.
When asked in January if he intended on being present for his father’s big day, Harry’s own response was that “anything can happen.” The comment was made at the time of the publication of his memoir, Spare. In it, the prince made a number of allegations against his family, the royal household and the British media.
One member of the royal family who received the most criticism from Harry was Prince William. Harry accused his elder brother of physically attacking him in a 2019 argument over Meghan’s treatment of palace staff, and a number of other putdowns.
Neither Charles nor William has publicly commented about Harry, his book or Netflix show in recent months.
In defense of Harry and Meghan, a spokesperson for the couple said: “They are choosing to share their story, on their terms, and yet the tabloid media has created an entirely untrue narrative that permeates press coverage and public opinion. The facts are right in front of them.”
One negative effect that Harry’s media releases have appeared to have is a plummeting of Harry and Meghan’s popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.
“There is no public enthusiasm for the Sussexes in Britain where their popularity has been low for many months as shown in the polls. There will be no enthusiasm if they attend [the coronation],” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Newsweek.
“If they were not to attend the coronation, they would appear isolated. It will be an event of global significance and they dare not miss it.”
“They have always been obsessed with controlling the public relations agenda. Harry’s appearance in court this week was a surprise as he was not expected to appear,” Fitzwilliams said of the anticipation surrounding the couple’s possible attendance.
“We may well get more surprises, bearing in mind his case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror begins on May 9, immediately after the weekend celebrating the coronation.”
The prince is separately suing the publishers of the Daily Mail (ANL) as well as those of the News of the World, now defunct, and The Sun (News Group Newspapers) and the Daily Mirror (Reach). Harry alleges illegal information-gathering was commissioned by the U.K. newspapers to obtain stories based on private details. The prince is not alone in suing ANL; singer Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, and actress Elizabeth Hurley are co-complainants.
Newsweek emailed representatives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for comment.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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