The historian exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, May 2, that it’s not “surprising that Prince Harry hasn’t been given a role” in his father’s upcoming ceremony. Russell thinks that The Firm made the decision to “not to complicate matters further by having him involved … simply because … the royals are hoping that they can draw a line under the recent controversy with the Duke of Sussex.”
Though the 38-year-old Archewell cofounder — who stepped down from his position as a senior royal in 2020 alongside wife Meghan Markle — does not have a part in the Saturday, May 6, ceremony. Prince William and his eldest son, Prince George, will both play important roles. George, 9, will be one of four Pages of Honour for his grandfather, 74, and the Prince of Wales, 40, is tasked with presenting his father with the Stole Royal and the Robe Royal at Westminster Abbey.
Charles, meanwhile, is “thrilled” that Harry is attending his and Queen Camilla’s coronation, a source exclusively told Us last month, adding that the monarch is “sad” that Meghan, 41, won’t be there. The Suits alum, 41, will instead be at home in California with children Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 22 months, to celebrate her son’s 4th birthday. Still, the king is happy that Harry still coming in the midst of the drama between the royals and the Sussexes, the insider said.
“Prince Harry, as would the king and Prince William, would regret if he wasn’t there,” Russell told Us. “So I think generally speaking, the consensus is it’s right that he’s there. It’s probably best that he’s there as King Charles’ son rather than as a working prince of the United Kingdom.”
Tensions have been high between Harry and his family since the January release of the BetterUp CIO’s debut memoir, Spare, as well as the many interviews he and Meghan have done speaking about their experience as senior royals.
In his book, Harry made numerous allegations against his father and brother, even going so far as to claim that he and William got into a physical fight over Meghan and that Charles’ team planted bad press about Harry and William amid his controversial romance with Camilla. (The couple tied the knot in 2005 following his divorce from the late Princess Diana.)
Harry continued to take aim the royals in March amid his lawsuit against several British publications, one of which he alleged tapped into his private phone calls in 2005.
“The Institution made it clear that we did not need to know anything about phone hacking and it was made clear to me that the royal family did not sit in the witness box because that could open up a can of worms,” the former military pilot claimed in a statement at the time.
He added: “The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation.”
Despite the family drama, Harry hopes that he and his relatives can all reconcile one day. “There’s a lot that I can forgive, but there needs to be conversations in order for reconciliation, and part of that has to be accountability,” he told Good Morning America in January.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi