Just a few days ago, the Daily Beast’s Royalist had a fascinating exclusive, with “sources close to King Charles” screaming and crying about Prince Harry’s appearance in London, and his witness statement in his lawsuit against ANL/The Mail. According to those sources, Harry had “torpedoed any remaining bridges” with his family and that Charles was completely out of olive branches. Sources close to Prince William and King Charles are always claiming that about every little thing Harry and Meghan do and say. The Windsors are obsessed with reacting negatively to all things Sussex. What’s even funnier is that, after a few days, it’s like… all is forgotten and the whole cycle starts over. Now that Harry’s court appearances are over, the palace is back to openly briefing the media about the potential seating arrangement for the coronation, as in… the Sussexes will be seated prominently. Some highlights from Royalist:

It looks like there are more olive branches & bridges: “Nothing that happens between now and then will make any difference to the seating plan,” a friend of the king told The Daily Beast. “Charles has always said that he loves both his sons. He wants them both there. Harry and Meghan are invited and will be seated prominently.”

William will get the best seat: Most observers believe that the seating layout will favor William, as the heir to the throne, with the best spot at his father and Camilla’s side (when the king and queen are sitting with the congregation, as they will be for part of proceedings). He will be accompanied by his wife, Kate, and their three children, which will account for all the seats on the right of the aisle (assuming they go 14 abreast as they did at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral) and will neatly keep the king and the first four in the line of succession together visually.

They’re honestly counting seats: Those three spaces could be filled by Harry, Meghan and Andrew. There seems to be broad agreement in royal circles that uncomplaining Edward may have to take the hit of being seated next to Andrew, meaning that peeling away from the aisle you could have Harry, Meghan, Anne, Sir Tim, Sophie, Edward, and Andrew. The inclusion of Andrew in this pivotal event seems to be what the public has been being softened up for ever since he escorted his mother to her seat at the memorial for her late husband. It would cement a narrative of Charles the Magnanimous.

Charles doesn’t want to look like he’s snubbing Harry: It would be good for Charles not to be seen to be snubbing his second son, who is fifth in line to the throne, a position he will retain until William has grandchildren, which could easily be over 20 years away given that his eldest son, George, is only 9. Attempting to banish Harry, Meghan, and Andrew behind a pillar a few rows from the back would succeed only in making Charles look extremely petty, and give credence to every word Harry has written.

Charles the Traditional: Another friend, who said they believed seating arrangements had not as yet been finalized, told The Daily Beast: “Charles has a strong sense of tradition, and tradition dictates that Harry ought to be in the front row. I am sure he will do the right thing. Despite everything that has happened, he is his son.”

Charles loves Harry: Charles loves Harry; he is his son and of course he is wanted at the coronation. Even the most ardent supporters of Harry don’t dispute these core claims—indeed, Harry’s book was surprisingly tender towards his beleaguered father. There is no malice and little duplicity in the “Pa” of Spare, rather his failures as a dad seem to stem from very human weakness.

What book? Spare certainly dented the mystique of the monarchy but it notably failed, unlike Diana’s book with Andrew Morton, to rock the institution to its foundations. The guiding principle of the Palace in relation to Spare increasingly appears to be, “Book—what book?”

[From The Daily Beast]

This is all part of the nervousness in recent weeks, a nervousness shared by palace and press about whether they’ve overplayed their hands and been too nasty about the Sussexes, to the point where Harry and Meghan will refuse the Chubbly invitation. Sources already made a point of saying that Harry would not have to publicly show any sort of respect to the stepmother he hates. Of course, I also believe that this outsized focus on the Sussexes’ possible attendance is a way to avoid discussing the lack of enthusiasm for the coronation, as well as avoiding the conversations about Charles and Camilla’s historic unpopularity. But sure, I believe that Charles will probably want the Sussexes in the front row if they come.

The royal reporters made such a BFD about the seating arrangements at QEII’s funeral, but in the Abbey, Charles placed the Sussexes directly behind him so they were in every shot of the new king. The reporters were like “Harry was snubbed by being placed in the second row!” But the optics worked differently: Harry looked like the heir, not William.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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