Welcome to this week’s special Coronation edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.
Prince Harry landed back in Los Angeles after his whistle stop trip to England for King Charles’ coronation at 7:30pm local time on Saturday evening, Sky News reports—home in time for his son Prince Archie’s 4th birthday. The Mail on Sunday calculated that Harry spent 28 hours and 42 minutes in the U.K. He flew commercial both directions.
Given that it is a two hour drive from LAX to Montecito, it seems unlikely Harry would have made it back in time to help blow out the candles on Archie’s birthday cake (lemon, see below), but after the extraordinary experience that the coronation must have been for Harry, we hope he got a good night kiss.
Harry certainly didn’t hang around. Despite having reportedly been invited to the post-Coronation lunch at Buckingham Palace, he made a beeline for Heathrow airport, getting in a car less than 20 minutes after the service ended. He was pictured smiling at Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite before boarding his flight, still attired in morning suit and medals.
Inevitably, Harry’s presence was a subject of intense media focus yesterday. He arrived at the historic ceremony in a car along with his disgraced uncle Prince Andrew, and was seated in the same row as Andrew and his children, Eugenie and Beatrice. He sat next to Jack Brooksbank, Eugenie’s husband, with whom he was seen chatting and laughing before the ceremony began. His third row view was largely obscured by a huge feather sticking out of Princess Anne’s hat.
Whether or not Harry would attend the coronation became a major talking point in the run up to the event, after he eviscerated his family in his memoir, Spare. He finally confirmed his attendance less than four weeks before the big day. Meghan, who was also invited, did not come, staying at home in California with their children.
When life gives you lemons—make lemon cake
Prince Archie’s birthday was “low-key” and featured a lemon cake made by Meghan using fruit from their Montecito garden, the Mail on Sunday reports, adding that some of the couple’s celebrity friends were thought to have attended the “small, intimate gathering,” as well as Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland.
A source told the Mail on Sunday that Meghan “stayed home to celebrate Archie’s birthday because she felt it would be inauthentic to do anything else,” adding, “She wanted to minimize the drama.”
Charles and Camilla ‘deeply touched’ after Coronation
King Charles and Queen Camilla are “deeply touched” and “profoundly grateful” following the Coronation. In a statement released Sunday morning, a Palace spokesperson said: “Their Majesties were deeply touched by the events of yesterday and profoundly grateful both to all those who helped to make it such a glorious occasion—and to the very many who turned out to show their support in such numbers in London and further afield.”
It ain’t over
For Coronation fans keen to keep celebrating, today in the U.K. there are street parties and so-called Big Lunch events, while tonight a pop concert at Windsor Castle will feature stars including Lionel Richie, Take That, and Katy Perry—who had a few problems finding her seat in the Abbey yesterday. Royals are expected to be there (will they dance?). Also tonight, the Lighting Up the Nation event will feature projections, lasers, and drone displays. Tomorrow, Monday, individuals and community groups will be encouraged to take part in local volunteer action. There are no appearances scheduled by the royals, but it would be unwise to rule any out.
Police arrest 52 in anti-monarchy protests
British police arrested 52 anti-monarchy protesters yesterday. Footage showed protesters bearing the slogan “Not My King” being detained, including Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic. The group posted photos of officers taking details from them on Twitter. “So much for the right to peaceful protest,” the group said.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, legislation passed this week made it illegal to prepare to “lock-on” to things like street furniture and arrested Republic member Matt Turnbull suggested the straps holding the placards had been “misconstrued” as something that could be used for locking on. “To be honest we were never going to be allowed to be a visible force here. They knew we were coming, and they were going to find a way to stop this,” Turnbull told the BBC.
“We absolutely understand public concern following the arrests we made this morning,” Commander Karen Findlay of the London Metropolitan police said in a statement, quoted by Reuters. “Over the past 24 hours there has been a significant police operation after we received information protesters were determined to disrupt the Coronation procession.”
Police had said they had received intelligence that protesters were going to throw rape alarms at the ceremonial procession, which may have frightened the horses on parade, and therefore caused a risk to public safety.
Certainly, Coronation fever didn’t extend to every corner of the green and pleasant land. Fans at one football match even drowned out a recorded rendition of “God Save the King” with boos. Liverpool were playing Brentford at home, hours after King Charles’s coronation, when the boos occurred. Liverpool Football Club said it was asked to play “God Save the King” by the Premier League to mark the king’s coronation, and that how spectators chose to react was up to them.
The Daily Mirror’s northern football correspondent, David Maddock, tweeted that the booing coming from around “the entire ground” was so loud he did not even know the anthem had started. There have been several reports of fans at other football matches chanting, “You can stick your Coronation up your arse.”
Liverpool fans have booed the national anthem since the 80s, when the gesture was intended as a protest at the Thatcherite establishment’s neglect of the city.
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Prince Louis remains king of the funny face
He did it again. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s youngest, whose mugging was a viral centerpiece of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, returned to facially slay at King Charles’ coronation. As the New York Post reported, he started with some epic yawning, and then looking stunned at his mother in all her finery.
But these were mere apéritifs for—once in the carriage taking the family back to Buckingham Palace—pouting with raised hand, then some wide, toothy grins, some open-mouthed looks of surprise, and then some wide open-eyed, stunned facial freezing. On the palace balcony, Louis’ mouth was agape at all the spectacle. And, as social media commenters noted, his yawning also spoke for a great many watching.
Meghan in disguise? Sadly not
In all the social media joshing of the day, one of the funniest was the enthusiasm for the idea that Meghan Markle had sneaked into the Coronation in disguise. The cause? Step forward legendary composer Sir Karl Jenkins, who social media wags judged to have the kind of looks that could be concealing—well—another person entirely. It wasn’t true, but it produced some fun gags and speculation. As one Twitter user said, “Meghan’s disguise worked a treat.”
Britain’s largely right-leaning newspapers are awash with patriotic Coronation fervor today, as one would expect, but a few contrary voices have managed to smuggle themselves into even the most dutiful of publications. Michael Deacon in the Telegraph, for example, couldn’t help engaging in some light mockery, observing that the “inelegant placing of St Edward’s Crown upon the King’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury” made it look “as if he was struggling to fit the lid on a recalcitrant jam jar.”
Sarah Vine in the pro-royal Daily Mail allowed herself a comment on the king’s “rather wistful air” and the queen’s apparent nervousness, adding: “The King looked weary and at times a little peeved…The whole thing started to feel a bit pedantic, a bit gluten-free granola. Some of the assembled great and good, who had been in their seats for hours, began to look glassy-eyed.”
“This does not feel like a moment of renewal. Savvily managed decline is perhaps the best Charles can hope for.”
— Josh Glancy, The Sunday Times
While it’s no surprise that the left-leaning Guardian was largely not a huge fan of the event, the ever-brilliant John Crace’s review is a wonderful read, in which he says of Charles: “He could take the trinkets but the obligations of kingship were too heavy a burden. Luckily, for once the pen with which he had to sign his name worked perfectly. Otherwise he might have snapped.”
In the Sunday Times, Josh Glancy wrote in his survey of the day’s events: “‘I come not to be served, but to serve,’” Charles told the world in his deep, familiar, patrician baritone. Yet he cannot come close to matching his mother’s service, in length or acclaim, and he knows it. This does not feel like a moment of renewal. Savvily managed decline is perhaps the best Charles can hope for.”
What did you miss?
The Daily Beast covered all aspects of King Charles’ Coronation Saturday, but if any royal fans out there missed any of the articles and want to immerse themselves in the news and color of the day, grab a cuppa or beverage of choice, a comfy chair, and enjoy.
The ceremony itself, as King Charles and Queen Camilla were finally crowned
Prince Harry immediately jetted out of the country after the service
How Princess Anne won the day, with swagger—and a viral sensation hat
Prince Harry not on palace balcony—but Camilla’s grandchildren are
Royals reveal behind-the-scenes images from the big day
King Charles’ equerry caused a mass horniness outbreak—again
Processional horse crashes into barrier at Coronation
Charles and William’s tender moment in the Abbey
Jill Biden and her granddaughter wear their support of Ukraine
Jill Biden loved the “surreal” ceremony, and then went to afternoon tea
Katy Perry responds after viral Coronation seat confusion
Prince Harry arrives at the Coronation
This week in royal history
Well, from one Coronation to memories of another—George VI’s—which happened on May 12, 1937.
Did Prince Harry share any words with his dad and his brother while he was back in Britain? Are the royals planning any surprises for the next two days of Coronation celebrations, including tonight’s pop concert? And will the Coronation ultimately be successful in convincing people the royals are still fit for purpose?
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