After months of uncertainty, Prince Harry eventually decided to attend the coronation of his father, King Charles III, in Westminster Abbey on May 6. Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, will not be there, however. The Duchess of Sussex has decided to stay in Montecito, California, while the Duke travels to London.
Harry’s visit across the Atlantic is expected to be brief and takes place amid increasing acrimony with his brother, Prince William, and his wife, the Princess of Wales. Reports in London suggest that many members of the royal family will be keeping their distance from the increasingly toxic Harry, following his salvo of attacks against the royals in his highly controversial memoir, "Spare."
Both Harry and Meghan have become increasingly unpopular in the United Kingdom since the release of "Spare" and their hugely hyped Netflix documentary, which debuted last November. They have, in fact, become two of the most disliked celebrity figures in the U.K. today. Their standing has also taken a major hit stateside, where the satirical show "South Park" delivered a devastating takedown of the royal couple in a recent episode.
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Undoubtedly a key reason for Meghan’s decision not to attend the coronation was fear of being booed on the streets of London, a scene that would be immensely damaging to her carefully cultivated brand.
Another factor was the humiliation of being relegated to second-tier status as "non-working royals," which denies them the right to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the coronation celebrations.
The trajectory of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over the past year has been a sharp downward spiral. Their attacks on the British monarchy have backfired spectacularly in both the U.S. and U.K., while their increasingly vocal political activism has alienated millions of Americans.
The decline and fall of Harry and Meghan have been swift and relentless, with growing calls in London, including from some members of Parliament, for the pair to be stripped of their royal titles. While the king has not publicly weighed in on this issue, reports in the British press suggest that the topic has been discussed at the highest levels of the palace.
Meghan and Harry have only themselves to blame for this rift. They have in effect declared war on the royals ever since their nasty, mean-spirited 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, which may have played well with the Hollywood elite but went over like a lead balloon in the U.K. Unproven allegations of racism within the royal household have been harmful to the monarchy and have resulted in significant tensions between Camp Harry and Meghan and other royals.
The harsh reality is that the Sussexes are almost completely isolated from the larger royal family and are practically pariahs in the eyes of much of the British public. The king has extended an olive branch to his son by including him in the coronation, but there is absolutely no sign of any reconciliation between Harry and William.
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There is no realistic path for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in terms of any role in the future of the royal family. They may cling to their royal titles and the associated prestige the titles carry with them, but they are practically exiles in California, where they will no doubt continue to focus on building substantial personal wealth through their media deals and production ventures. They may ultimately become part of the Montecito elite, but their standing in the eyes of the British monarchy will be close to zero.
If their goal was to undermine the royal family and the institution of the monarchy, which has stood for over a thousand years, they have failed spectacularly, and will continue to do so.
The Harry and Meghan saga is a modern-day tragedy, a tale of narcissism, hubris and outright greed. It’s a sad demise for a once-loved couple who have spectacularly burned bridges on both sides of the Atlantic while pursuing a disastrous vendetta.
This piece originally appeared in Fox News on May 5, 2023