Following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday that King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey will be on May 6 next year, some on social media have been debating if the date could be a slight to his son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
May 6 also happens to be their son Archie’s birthday. He will turn 4 during the coronation.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had a strained relationship with the rest of the royal family after they decided to step down as senior royals in 2020 and move to California.
Charles spoke kindly of the couple in his first speech as king on Sept. 9, saying, “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” but the couple also saw their royal profiles on the family website demoted to the bottom of the page since Charles’ accession.
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And although Harry and Meghan’s children have the right to prince and princess titles since their grandfather is on the throne, no announcement has been made.
Charles announced that he was bestowing Prince William and Kate Middleton as the Prince and Princess of Wales during his first address but sadly nothing of Archie and Lilibet, Harry and Meghan’s youngest child.
“I wonder why King Charles chose to hold his coronation on Archie’s birthday? Maybe so his grandson could share his special day or he’s done this to steal his grandson’s ‘thunder,’” one Twitter user mused.
Another claimed, “Charles III wants media to bombard Harry & Meghan until next year who they’ll sacrifice…to have Archie’s birthday in peace in USA or a messy chaotic stressful coronation for a cold fish father in UK. Charles continues to be a horrible person.”
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“Charles chose his coronation date so he didn’t have to attend Archie’s 4th birthday. His selfishness is astonishing,” a third remarked while a fourth suggested it would “give Harry a great excuse not to attend.”
Another said, “Charles is now using Harry’s children in his spiteful, hateful PR game. Harry would be wise to tell this man FU and your coronation!! I hope him and Meghan throw Archie a helluva of a birthday party. A damn blowout!!!”
“so charles’ coronation is set for…archie’s birthday. i am here for the drama,” someone else joked.
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Others called him “petty,” “selfish” and “gross.”
Many, however, sided with the king.
“The way the Sussex Squad is reacting to the news, you would have thought it said ‘King Charles Coronation Stomps out Archie’s Birthday…Making it a candle in the wind…’” a defender of Charles tweeted.
Others pointed out that Harry played a polo match in Santa Barbara on Archie’s birthday this year.
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“I don’t know why Harry and Nutmeg are complaining about King Charles III Coronation being on Archie’s 4th birthday, because he was out all-day playing polo on Archie’s 3rd birthday, so he is hardly in the position to criticize anyone else,” someone said. “What a two-faced hypocrite.”
“Harry ditched poor Archie on his 3rd birthday to go play polo, so let’s not forget that fact!” another palace defender added. “The kid is irrelevant, considering he doesn’t live in this country and will never be a senior working Royal. King Charles’s coronation, meanwhile, is a once-in-a lifetime event.”
A third person used his experience as a grandpa to try to figure out the king’s intent. “My theory, as a grandfather, on why Charles III’s coronation is 6 May: this way he almost certainly gets to see Archie on his birthday. Try and leave Grandpa off the birthday list? Not this time. You’re having a birthday in England. LOL. I would totally have done that.”
The date is “definitely not a snub” royal expert Katie Nicholl told “Entertainment Tonight,” calling it a “happy coincidence.”
“Obviously, a huge amount of planning has to go into an important moment in history, such as a coronation, and the royal calendar is full of anniversaries and birthdays, so I think this is absolutely one of those occasions where it’s a coincidence and hopefully a happy coincidence,” she said.
The Sussexes are expected to be invited to the event, but it’s unclear if they’ll attend.
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Charles automatically ascended to the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8. As tradition dictates, he will be crowned several months after his accession.