‘Last Time It Was a Candle’

Prince Harry’s view at the coronation of his father, King Charles III, in Westminster Abbey on Saturday was partially disrupted by his aunt’s large feather hat, social media users have pointed out.

Harry attended the coronation ceremony without his wife, Meghan Markle, and was seated two rows behind his brother Prince William owing to the fact that he is no longer a “working member” of the royal family.

The prince sat between the husband of his cousin, Princess Eugenie, and his elderly relative, Princess Alexandra of Kent.

In the rows ahead of the prince were the senior working royals who included among them, Princess Anne—the only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II—who was wearing a military costume and feathered hat.

Prince Harry photographed at the coronation of his father, King Charles III, seated behind Princess Anne wearing a large hat, May 6, 2023.
Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Footage from the live broadcast of the ceremony showed Harry’s face obstructed by the feather which was quickly posted to social media highlighting the fact that Meghan Markle’s face was obstructed during the live broadcast of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September 2022, by a large candle.

“Prince Harry is hidden behind the feather on Princess Anne’s hat… last time it was a candle 🤣,” wrote one user.

Daily Mail commentator Richard Eden also spotted the moment, writing to his Twitter followers: “Oh, dear! Last time, #PrinceHarry was obscured by a huge candle 🕯 This time, by Princess Anne’s hat. #Coronation”

Novelist Tony Parsons posted on his account with a reference to the prince’s now-famous 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he made a number of complaints about his time as a working royal.

“Harry’s view is completely and cruelly obscured by Princess Anne’s hat! Get Oprah on the line,” he wrote.

The potential hat drama was also spotted in the U.S. by broadcaster Nick Bryant who commented: “In the good old days on Twitter. Princess Anne’s hat would have its own account by now – running handy interference on Harry, too”

Harry’s attendance at the coronation marks the first time he has been publicly reunited with members of his family since the publication of his bombshell memoir, Spare, which caused controversy for its inclusion of a number of criticisms and allegations against the royals.

King Charles and Queen Camilla were both criticized by the prince, with Camilla being accused of sacrificing Harry on her “PR altar” in her pursuit to become queen.

Perhaps the member of the royal family who came under the most criticism was Prince William who Harry said was often jealous of the freedom he was afforded as “spare” to the “heir.” Harry also alleged that William physically attacked him in a 2019 argument over Meghan Markle.

Neither Buckingham Palace, acting for the King and Queen, nor Kensington Palace, acting for William and Kate Middleton, made any comment or statement regarding Harry’s book or its claims.

Prince Harry photographed in the congregation at Westminster Abbey during the coronation of King Charles III, May 6, 2023.
Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In the fallout from the publication, speculation rose as to whether Harry would make the journey to Britain for the coronation just five months later. In April, a statement was issued announcing that the prince would attend but that his wife, Meghan, would remain at home with the couple’s two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

May 6, coronation day, is also Archie’s fourth birthday. Harry is reported to be heading back to the States soon after the ceremony.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

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