EXCLUSIVE: Young members of the Royal Family, such as Princes Louis and Archie, could be allowed to sit through only part of the Coronation to ensure they don’t miss out on the entire service.
Prince Louis could attend the Coronation, an expert has suggested
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have also been invited to the service, but they did not say if their children, Prince Archie Harrison and Princess Lilibet Diana, were also on the guest list.
Dr George Gross, visiting research fellow in theology at King’s College London and co-founder of the British Coronations Project with Dr David J Crankshaw, told Express.co.uk the royal offspring could attend. He said arrangements have been made in the past for those who would not be able to sit through the hours-long ceremony in its entirety.
He explained how at the Coronation of King George V on June 22, 1911, Winston Churchill, who was then Home Secretary, received an invitation for himself and his wife Clementine.
The ceremony took place less than a month after Clementine had given birth to their son, Randolph, on May 28. As a result, the King made special arrangements to accommodate her.
Louis, Charlotte and George at Trooping the Colour
George, Louis and Charlotte ride in a carriage on The Mall in London
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The King’s secretary, Lord Knollys, wrote to the Home Secretary on April 29: “I spoke to the King today about his giving Mrs Churchill a ticket for his Box in Westminster Abbey on the occasion of the Coronation.
“He said he should have much pleasure in giving her one, and you may like to know that he was very nice about it.”
The Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary, quoted in volume two of Randolph Churchill’s book about their father, said: “A royal brougham called for her at her house and drove her to Westminster Abbey, so that she arrived at the latest possible moment; she watched the ceremony until after the actual crowning of the King, then she slipped discreetly away and was driven home to the hungering Randolph.
“This was the first of three Coronations at which both Winston and Clementine were destined to be present.”
Princess Charlotte at Sandringham
Prince George with his mother, Kate, Princess of Wales
But he added there would be an added complication due to the service being televised.
He said: “There’s a way they could have [the children] there for some of it. It’s possible we could see the Wales and Sussex children. But it’s a long service so who knows.
“It is also harder with TV the way it is today. But given that Charles and the Queen [Elizabeth II] both witnessed a coronation, it seems quite likely Prince George will be there.”
Harry and Meghan at a New York gala
The eldest of William and Kate’s children, Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, are expected to attend the Coronation. They often step out for important events and went to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II alongside their parents.
But it is not clear if Prince Louis, who turns five next month, will be there on May 6.
Harry and Meghan’s children are younger still. Archie will turn four on the date of the Coronation and Lilibet will be just shy of two.
Charles attended his mother’s Coronation in 1953 when he was four, but Princess Anne didn’t attend because she was deemed to be too young at the age of two.
The ceremony itself could last for hours although Charles is understood to want parts streamlined.
Full details have yet to be made public, but Dr Gross suggested the Homage part of the ceremony, in which every member of the British nobility pays their respects to the monarch, could be dropped or shortened.
The crowning of Camilla, Queen Consort, would also add an extra layer to the ceremony which did not happen at Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953.
The Anointing, which may be televised for the first time ever at Charles’s Coronation, the Crowning and the delivery of the Coronation Oath would also be included as key parts of the ceremony.
Elizabeth II appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace alongside Camilla, Charles and the Waleses
Dr Gross explained the oath is an integral part of the ceremony with the Acclamation and Recognition also viewed as very important.
He said: “This happens before the Oath, with the congregation asked, Do you recognise this person as your King or Queen?
“This part of the cereony dates back to the Anglo Saxon period when monarchs were elected by the elite. Monarchs can’t be anointed without that being done.
“In many ways, those in Westminster Abbey [on May 6] represent us. It’s a really important moment where the public are asked if they recognise this monarch.”
Sir Winston Churchill with his wife Clementine at Loughton in 1945
Dr Gross predicted Charles’s Coronation would also be relatively long in duration because of a lot of music has been announced.
On the possibility of the Anointing being televised for the first time, Dr Gross said it was possible, adding: “Will it make a difference to remove that mystery and magic? Our hunch is it will not.
“If it is to be televised, we won’t know until a couple of days before. We can make this argument because lots of people will watch the Coronation on TV. Telling people now won’t generate extra interest.
“But an announcement a couple of days before might generate a bit more. But we don’t know. There’s a higher chance, but we don’t know for sure.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK