Prince Harry’s walk-on role at father’s coronation
He came, he saw, but he certainly didn’t conquer. As in the title of his controversial book, Prince Harry truly was a spare yesterday.
On the greatest day of his father’s life, the Duke of Sussex was reduced to a walk-on part, a mere observer of history.
While Meghan stayed at home in California, Harry cut a nervous and uncomfortable figure.
After spending a last night at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, the marital home he is now being evicted from, Harry adopted a safety-in-numbers approach.
He arrived with fellow exiled royal Prince Andrew, who was with his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, Peter Phillips and Zara and Mike Tindall.
The Duke of York had been booed when the crowds spotted him being driven down The Mall.
But there were no audible cries of derision when the party entered the Abbey.
The York princesses and their husbands came to Harry’s rescue.
As they entered the Abbey, Beatrice’s husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi put an arm around Harry’s back and engaged in small talk.
Lip-readers say at one point Harry said “about quarter to four o’clock”, which might have been the time of his flight home.
He made an effort to greet waiting clergy with warm smiles, which he also offered to guests in the congregation.
But there was no getting away from his isolation as he walked alone down the ancient abbey to take his third-row seat.
He was seated between Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, and the late Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra. According to lip-readers, Harry said to Jack: “Oh wow, look, amazing,” apparently referring to Eugenie’s pregnancy.
As the nation was invited to pay homage to the King, Harry did join in with “God save the King, Long Live King Charles”.
All eyes were on William as he pleaded loyalty as the King’s liege man, with Charles looking emotional after a kiss from his older son, and saying: “Thank you, William.”
At that moment did Harry feel a pang of regret about his outbursts against his family, or did he just want to get home for Archie’s birthday party?
The Duke had much to ponder as he headed straight to Heathrow for his return flight to Montecito.
Prince Harry headed straight to Heathrow after his brief coronation appearance ahead of his return to his family in Monteceito, California.
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