The King must follow his mother’s example and cut the Sussexes out, says PATRICK O’FLYNN | Patrick O’Flynn | Columnists | Comment

The King must follow his mother’s example and cut the Sussexes out, says PATRICK O’FLYNN | Patrick O’Flynn | Columnists | Comment

So she removed her favorite son, Andrew, from the ranks of the front-line royals after he was embroiled in scandal, and then torpedoed her favorite grandson Harry’s desire to be half in, half out of the royal firm – a proposal that would have seen him enjoying most of the privileges but accepting few of the other responsibilities.

King Charles III is clearly an equally doting patriarch and even Spare, Prince Harry’s apparently unsparing memoir, which generally describes the King as a poor father, contains references to him seeking to do the best for “his son boyfriend”.

So it’s clear that a difficult decision is looming for Charles regarding his coronation in early May: he’s putting Harry and Meghan on the guest list despite repeated breaches of trust and inclination of them to turn a royal ringside chair into a media asset?

A difficult decision, but in the end not difficult: because the answer has to be “no”. The coronation will be a great moment for Charles – a lucky date and the culmination of a career spanning more than 70 years.

It would be natural for him to want to have the entire Windsor clan present at such a time. But he must resist this impulse because his coronation is also a key constitutional moment for his country and his kingdom. In the end, this is more important.

To risk having an event which will be the focus of the entire globe shadowed by dissent, distraction and discontent – ​​and later described in yellow or derisive terms by the Sussexes – would not be a responsible course of action. .

This is not only an issue for the King, but also for his Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Longtime royal watchers will recall that Winston Churchill made a quick intervention before Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation after learning that the Duke of Windsor – King Edward VIII until his abdication – wanted to be present.

Churchill actually devised a rule that no former monarch could attend the investiture of a successor. Papers released by the national archive at Kew in 2007 revealed that he advised the Duke to tell the press that “it would not be in keeping with usage for the coronation to be attended by any former sovereign”.

The Duke heeded the warning and stayed away, along with his divorced American wife.

How Mr. Sunak chooses to handle the issue of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s possible attendance at Charles’ coronation is something that also probably won’t emerge for many decades to come. But he has to deal with it.

Because the monarch’s role as a widely accepted and respected head of state is essential to political stability in this country.

Imagine, for example, a presidential election between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, or Tony Blair and Nigel Farage. Do we really think that the winner would be able to get the “consent of the losers” from the supporters of his defeated rival? Hardly. There is more than likely chaos at any presidential public appearance.

And how would a president fit into our system of cabinet government under a prime minister? Again, this would create a rival power base and cause constitutional chaos.

The coronation represents a rare opportunity for the British monarchy to renew its vows to the people and the watching world.

The idea of ​​an alternative court that has been so disrespectful to the institution and person of the present King is unconscionable. Harry and Meghan would inevitably become a rallying point for dissidents in general with their every move placed under the media microscope.

For months afterwards we would all be on tenthooks for the next round of Sussex spin: What really happened at the Abbey? The way an expression that was thought to have momentarily settled on the Princess of Wales’s face was somewhat of an insult to Meghan.

How Charles had favored William over Harry in terms of some ceremonial details. All will be delivered in a new Netflix extravaganza. No thank you very much.

Margaret Thatcher once observed that at the top of public life it was necessary to know how to “cut the knot”, by which she meant making hires and firings.

King Charles must learn to carve the knot, as his mother once did. However much personal regret it may cause him, the Sussexes will have to leave.

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