King Charles has reportedly asked the Archbishop of Canterbury for help with Prince Harry.
The 74-year-old monarch hopes Justin Welby can help strike an agreement with the Duke of Sussex to attend his coronation in May, but is concerned about opposition from his older son, Prince William, who is said to be fearful his estranged sibling – who has launched a series of attacks on his family and the royal institution in his memoir ‘Spare’ and interviews to promote the tome – would use the opportunity to stage a “stunt” that would overshadow the historic event.
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Charles is said to believe that if Harry and his wife Meghan didn’t attend the coronation at Westminster Abbey, it would be a greater distraction than their presence would be, so is ready to agree concessions including a high-profile seating position inside Westminster Abbey and an informal assurance the couple – who stepped down from royal duties in 2020 – will be able to retain their titles.
A source told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “The issue of substance is whether they attend the Coronation, and if they do, under what terms and conditions.
“The family is split, and all the indications are that Harry is being advised to agree to nothing at this stage and ‘play it long’ right up to the last minute, which is making negotiations with him very difficult.
“Harry’s camp made clear that the idea that he would just attend the Coronation and behave himself but then be stripped of his titles was a total non-starter.
“While he might decide at some point to discard his titles of his own volition, he objects to the idea of being forcibly stripped of them.
“He resents being lumped together with Andrew in the public mind as the two ‘problem Princes’, when he considers the circumstances to be totally different.”
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The archbishop – who will preside over the coronation ceremony – was first asked to serve as an intermediary between William and Harry shortly after Queen Elizabeth died in September.
Both Lambeth Palace, which looks after the archbishop’s affairs, and Buckingham Palace declined to comment, while Harry’s representatives did not respond to a request to comment.