The Loneliest Figure: Prince Harry at the Coronation
There was never a lonelier figure than the king’s second son walking down the aisle alone at the coronation. If your heart didn’t ache to see Prince Harry, yes, the “spare”, the black sheep, the outlier: take those brave steps all just to sit next to former friends and relatives after months of acrimony, then you must be stone.
Forget what you’ve “done”: the explosive, eye-opening memories, the eye-opening Netflix documentary, the inner circle revelations that have shocked the core of the royal family. All I saw was a timid man, grim-faced, in pain, without the comfort of his wife to soften the blow. I can only imagine how tightly he must have been clenching his teeth to do it in the first place.
And as the Duke of Sussex entered the place with his cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, and their respective partners, he couldn’t look alone anymore.
Returning to the Spotlight
We all know what it’s like to have to go to a “big event” (a wedding, a family party, a birthday) without your other half: you feel like a part of you is missing. You are without the one person who would make you feel “more than” – at the same time as you witness your brother with his wife and children by his side. It must be very painful for Harry to be without Meghan today.
Perhaps it is not surprising that he is cutting short His time in London: Harry is rumored to be returning to the US almost immediately after the coronation, having arrived early on Friday morning. But imagine how fast his heart must have been beating, how difficult it must have been to keep a perfect poker face.
Could you have done it? I’m not sure I’ve made it. Especially since it’s the first time Harry has seen his father, his brother Prince William and other members of the royal family since he published Spare’s memoir in January.
The Bravest of Acts
If you’ve ever experienced a family breakup or estrangement, or even a wild argument at the dinner table, then you know how long it takes to walk back into the room (yes, even if one is the one who stormed out in the first place). It takes courage, humility, and a great deal of self-awareness to face the situation after you’ve caused a real ruckus. For that, Harry deserves to be praised.
The fact that he appeared in the first place is admirable enough; many would not have been able to digest it. Imagine the eyes of the world, let alone your family, on you and only on you; the whispers, the giggles and the sarcastic looks. Imagine knowing that you could have prevented it all by staying home with your wife and celebrating your son’s fourth birthday.
Archie’s birthday plans apparently include a “low-key” party at the couple’s California residence. The complete opposite of a coronation.
The Sign of Respect
People criticize Harry for “betraying” his family, but his presence on his father’s special day, in my opinion, shows the opposite: he is showing them a lot of respect, at the expense of his own comfort. Someone less of a man wouldn’t have gone at all.
We’ve previously explored the idea that you might have to “divorce” his family to have a successful marriage; I’ve heard the argument that it’s actually right that Harry chose Meghan and hers, her children Archie and Lilibet, over the sense of duty and rigid responsibility that would have kept him stifled and unhappy.
Some might argue that the bravest thing to do would have been for Meghan to attend the coronation to be by his side. But if he hadn’t parted ways with the establishment, if he had stayed in Britain and the couple were at the center of proceedings, I suppose we would see an even smaller man.
What Harry did today took guts, strength, determination, love and I respect. We should show him the same in return.