Britain’s King Charles still wants to invite estranged son Harry to coronation: Report

Britain's King Charles (left) walks with his son Prince Harry inside Windsor Castle on Sept 19, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON – Despite the salvos fired by Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle in their latest Netflix docuseries, his father King Charles III reportedly plans to invite him to his coronation next year.

British tabloid Daily Mail – which was vilified in the Harry & Meghan six-parter for its prolific negative coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – said that King Charles, 74, wanted to “graciously extend the olive branch” to his estranged younger son.

King Charles ascended the throne after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept 8. His coronation is scheduled for May 6, 2023, which happens to be the fourth birthday of Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Mail reported that the invitation was likely to be made even if 38-year-old Harry’s upcoming memoir, Spare, proved to reveal more unsavoury details about life in the British royal family.

Spare is due to be published by Penguin Random House on Jan 10.

Neither King Charles nor the rest of the royal family have responded directly to the documentary, which suggested that the “institution” had actively colluded with the press on Prince Harry and Markle’s negative coverage.

However, the palace had reportedly briefed journalists on the royal beat – the so-called Royal Rota – that it had not been approached for comment by the film-makers.

This was in contrast to a placard at the beginning of the series stating that “members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series”.

After Netflix sources refuted the claim, the palace reportedly admitted that an e-mail had been received “via a ‘third party production company’ “ that it was unable to verify.

In the latest salvo, Variety reported that an aide of Prince William – Harry’s older brother – had in fact entered into an exchange with representatives of the said production company, which turned out to belong to Liz Garbus, the American documentarian who directed Harry & Meghan.

The aide requested documentary footage, but after being told that no such footage could be made available, ghosted the production company and ignored its further requests for comment.

Despite the controversy, the series has proven a bona fide hit for Netflix. The streaming giant said the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan recorded 81.55 million viewing hours after its debut on Dec 8, with more than 28 million households watching at least part of the series.

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The streamer signed a multi-year production deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in September 2020.

The documentary series is the first content that has emerged from the partnership, which some media outlets have estimated could be worth up to US$100 million (S$136 million).

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