Princes Harry, Andrew benched on third row at King Charles’s coronation

Prince Harry quit royal duties in 2020, while Prince Andrew has been frozen out of public roles.

Princes Harry and Andrew attended the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday but were relegated to the third row of the royal family seating, with no formal role in proceedings.

Charles’s younger son Harry and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties in 2020 and have since unleashed a string of barbed attacks on the monarchy.

Andrew, the king’s eldest brother, has been frozen out over his past association with the disgraced late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and a related sexual abuse allegation which was settled out of court.

Driven in a state car from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in London, part of the crowd in a grandstand in front of the palace booed as Andrew went past.

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Harry, 38, the Duke of Sussex, and 63-year-old Andrew, the Duke of York, arrived at the abbey with other members of the royal family.

It is the first time Harry has joined his family since subjecting them to a torrent of stinging criticism in his recent memoir Spare and in a series of television interviews.

Meghan has remained in California with the couple’s young children, thereby avoiding potentially awkward interactions with her in-laws.

Smiles in the abbey

Former British Army captain Harry, who served in Afghanistan, was wearing a morning suit with his medals, while Andrew – who flew Royal Navy helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War – wore his robes as a knight of the garter.

Harry was seen chatting with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, husband of his cousin Princess Beatrice, Andrew’s elder daughter. 

He also had a quick word with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, after entering the Great West Door.

Welby married Harry and Meghan at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018.

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Both Harry and Andrew were seen smiling as they walked through the abbey to their seats.

They were both placed on the third row – out of keeping with their place in the line of succession to the throne.

WATCH: King Charles and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Harry is fifth in line to the throne, following his brother Prince William, and William’s three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Wales.

Andrew is eighth in line, coming after Harry and his children – Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet of Sussex.

Andrew sat at the end of the row next to Beatrice, while Harry sat next to Jack Brooksbank, the husband of Andrew’s younger daughter Princess Eugenie.

All eyes on the balcony

The pair will be absent from the public procession behind the Gold State Coach carrying the newly crowned king from the abbey back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.

But the palace has not said whether they will appear along with the wider royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the ceremony.

King Charles Queen Camilla coronation
King Charles III wearing the Imperial state Crown, and Britain’s Queen Camilla wearing a modified version of Queen Mary’s Crown wave from the Buckingham Palace balcony on 6 May 2023, after their coronations. Picture: Oli SCARFF / AFP

Saturday marks Archie’s fourth birthday, so Harry might make a swift exit back to his home in California.

Andrew’s links with Epstein – boyfriend of the prince’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell – came back to haunt him.

A US woman, Virginia Giuffre, said she was pressured to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 after being delivered by Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution.

Andrew denied the allegations in a November 2019 BBC interview that nonetheless went down badly.

Within days, he stepped back from his patronages and in May 2020 he permanently resigned from all public roles.

The case was settled out of court in February 2022, with Giuffre accepting a donation to her charity and no admission of liability from Andrew.

Andrew took part in events surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral but, beyond mourning his mother, Charles has shown no sign of allowing him a return to public life.

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