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Inside the ‘Awkward Scene’ When Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrived Late to King Charles’ Coronation

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Royal biographer Robert Hardman unravels what happened on the all-important morning

Kate Middleton and Prince William were late to King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, complicating logistics before history was written.

In his book The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, royal biographer Robert Hardman writes that King Charles and Queen Camilla inadvertently arrived early for their crowning at Westminster Abbey. The royal couple reportedly got there before pages like Prince George — and there was another snag in the schedule.

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Inside the ‘Awkward Scene’ When Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrived Late to King Charles’ Coronation
Royal biographer Robert Hardman unravels what happened on the all-important morning

By Janine Henni Updated on May 6, 2024 02:41PM EDT
Kate Middleton and Prince William were late to King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, complicating logistics before history was written.

In his book The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, royal biographer Robert Hardman writes that King Charles and Queen Camilla inadvertently arrived early for their crowning at Westminster Abbey. The royal couple reportedly got there before pages like Prince George — and there was another snag in the schedule.

“Unbeknown to them, the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two younger children are running a minute and a half late. The Waleses are supposed to be there eight minutes ahead of the King and Queen. Yet they will now arrive after them,” Hardman writes in The Making of a King, published in January.

“Although the congregation inside the abbey don’t know it, there is an awkward scene unfolding outside as the King and Queen are in their coach. It is an added layer of stress that the couple really do not want or need on a day like this,” he writes. Recapping a lipreader’s translation of what King Charles said footage caught on a Sky News camera, Hardman writes that the monarch said, ” ’We can never be on time…There’s always something…This is boring.’ ”

ROYALS
Inside the ‘Awkward Scene’ When Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrived Late to King Charles’ Coronation
Royal biographer Robert Hardman unravels what happened on the all-important morning

By Janine Henni Updated on May 6, 2024 02:41PM EDT
Kate Middleton and Prince William were late to King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, complicating logistics before history was written.

In his book The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, royal biographer Robert Hardman writes that King Charles and Queen Camilla inadvertently arrived early for their crowning at Westminster Abbey. The royal couple reportedly got there before pages like Prince George — and there was another snag in the schedule.

“Unbeknown to them, the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two younger children are running a minute and a half late. The Waleses are supposed to be there eight minutes ahead of the King and Queen. Yet they will now arrive after them,” Hardman writes in The Making of a King, published in January.

“Although the congregation inside the abbey don’t know it, there is an awkward scene unfolding outside as the King and Queen are in their coach. It is an added layer of stress that the couple really do not want or need on a day like this,” he writes. Recapping a lipreader’s translation of what King Charles said footage caught on a Sky News camera, Hardman writes that the monarch said, ” ’We can never be on time…There’s always something…This is boring.’ ”

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort travelling in the Diamond Jubilee Coach built in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace
King Charles and Queen Camilla before their coronation at Westminster Abbey
The Best Moments from King Charles’ Coronation That We’re Still Swooning Over One Year Later

“As with his irksome pen in the days after his mother’s death, it’s a snapshot of a man under extreme pressure in the full gaze of the world’s media,” the biographer writes in The Making of a King.

The author adds that sources have different conclusions on the root of the snafu. Some say that Prince William and Princess Kate’s decision to make a coronation video added “precious seconds” to their schedule while staff for William and Kate speculate that because the King reached the abbey early, the Wales’ car got caught behind his cavalcade when it should have been ahead.

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