Keep calm and carry on? The royal family could temporarily bury the hatchet with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the sake of King Charles III’s forthcoming coronation, according to royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti.
“I suspect that there are some efforts going on to try and make some form of reconciliation … I think because they don’t want [family tensions] to upstage what’s going on on that very important day,” the journalist exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, January 23.
Sacerdoti continued: “Whether or not that’s possible is one thing, and whether or not it’s lasting is another thing. Even if they do manage to make some form of peace, [it] might be temporary. I think it’s going to be extremely difficult for them as a family — and more broadly, for the nation and for the Institution — to forgive what’s happened.”
The Sussexes — who share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 19 months — have been outspoken about their experiences as senior members of the royal family since stepping down from their working roles in 2020. Between their March 2021 tell-all CBS interview, their December 2022 Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, and the Duke of Sussex’s January 2023 memoir, Spare, Harry, 38, and the Suits alum, 41, have aired plenty of grievances with the U.K. media and several high-ranking royals.
In Spare, the former military pilot claimed that he and his brother, Prince William, got into a physical fight in 2019 after William, 40, allegedly called Meghan “difficult” and “rude.” According to Harry, the Prince of Wales “grabbed” his collar, broke his necklace and “knocked [him] to the floor” during the altercation.
In addition to making claims about his brother — who is currently first in line for the British throne — the Archewell cofounder also shared insights into his relationship with his father. Harry alleged in his memoir that Charles, 74, once told him there wasn’t “enough money to go around” for him and Meghan, despite the firm’s ability to support William and his wife, Princess Kate.
“Pa might have dreaded the rising cost of maintaining us, but what he really couldn’t stomach was someone new dominating the monarchy, grabbing the limelight, someone shiny and new coming in and overshadowing him. He’d lived through that before, and had no interest in living through it again,” the BetterUp CIO wrote, alluding to his late mother, Princess Diana.
Harry’s comments about his family don’t bode well for lasting reconciliation, Sacerdoti told Us.
“I think Harry and Meghan have said they’re expecting an apology, but I think there aren’t many people who agree that it’s due that way round,” the Oxford alum claimed. “Some of the individuals within [Spare] — the king, the queen and the Prince of Wales — all come out of that book so badly. They’re so broadly criticized by Harry, so nastily criticized in sections, that I think they could be feeling very sore about this.”
He continued: “But above all else, I think they might also be feeling that they just want to keep quiet because they don’t wanna provoke any more of this sort of thing, which is damaging not just to them emotionally and personally, but to the nation, because this is an attack effectively on part of the Constitution of Great Britain.”
The deepening of the royal family’s rift comes just months before Charles’ coronation, which is set for May 6, 2023 — the same day as Archie’s 4th birthday. Queen Consort Camilla — who, like Charles, automatically assumed her new title upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022 — will be crowned as well.
“We’re expecting, probably, the Prince and Princess of Wales to take part and maybe their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte [and] Prince Louis,” Sacerdoti told Us of the big day. “And we may also — who knows — see Harry and Meghan included in that, and their children as well.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi