On Saturday, May 6, King Charles III will be crowned during the first British coronation of this century – the last being his mother, Queen Elizabeth II's own ascension on June 2, 1953. As you may expect, the landscape surrounding Charles' big day is quite different than what the late queen experienced, and this is in large part due to several controversies afoot.
1. One of the main issues? Well, despite Charles choosing to cut down the duration of the coronation and the number of people invited, the big pomp is still expected to cost taxpayers at least £100 million, Time reported, which equates to about $125 million.
Though coronations have always come with steep costs, this particular event is shadowed by the UK's housing crisis, where millions are unable to afford to buy a home. Couple that with the country's ever-rising inflation and worker strikes, and you may be able to see why many think the money could be better spent.
2. The palace had quite a hard time finding somebody — anybody — to perform. It's been rumored that big names like Adele, Harry Styles, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, and the Spice Girls were asked to help celebrate Charlie on his day in the spotlight, but they all declined. Luckily, at the 11th hour, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were officially booked to headline.
3. At this point, we're all aware of Prince Harry's explosive memoir Spare, in which he divulged what it was like growing up in the royal family. And one of the most notable claims in the debut was that the institution helped plant stories in tabloids about members of the royal family to help them look better. Now, Harry and several tabloids are in the middle of an ongoing court battle.
At the core of the battle is Harry's privacy. According to the Guardian, the prince is seeking £200,000 in damages over a newspaper allegedly hacking his phone to gain access to his voicemails, as well as hiring private investigators to scope out information about his previous relationships.
4. Speaking of Harry, he is expected to be in attendance for the coronation, but Meghan will not be.
Following all the constant attacks she's received from media outlets that pushed ridiculous stories, like how her enjoying avocado toast is somehow "fueling human rights abuses," to the royal family's own concerns over her son Archie's skin color, the Duchess has chosen to sit out the coronation.
A friend of Meghan and Harry anonymously told People, "Meghan wants to be there to support her father-in-law, but at the same time, the scrutiny she receives outweighs the support," they said. "There's always going to be that other side challenging their reasoning, and who wants to put themselves in that position?"
6. For whatever reason, Prince Andrew is expected to be in attendance. However, he will not be performing duties that would normally be expected of a Duke on coronation day.
Traditionally, there is a moment in coronations when the heir kneels before the king or queen and swears their loyalty to them. A similar practice was done by dukes in the past, however, Prince Andrew will not be invited to do so.
Queen Elizabeth II stripped Andrew of his titles, military affiliations, and patronages following revelations about his relationship with Jefferey Epstein and allegations that he had sex with an underage girl who was trafficked by the financier. These allegations led to a lawsuit, which Andrew ended in a settlement.
It's also worth noting that similar to Andrew, Harry will also sit out on this tradition. (Though the actions that may have landed them in these positions seem incomparable.)
7. The royals are dropping Camilla's Queen Consort title, and she'll just be Queen Camilla.
The title "Queen Consort" signals that the King is the reigning monarch and the queen is their wife — someone without power over military or political dealings.
When Queen Elizabeth took the throne, her husband, Prince Philip, was Prince Consort.
However, when the royal family sent out invitations to view the coronation, Camilla was noticeably referred to as Queen Camilla, dropping the consort title.
Some royal experts believe this was done in an effort to help legitimize Camilla, since she's largely viewed as King Charles' mistress-turned-wife and the "other woman" in his marriage to Princess Diana.
8. You know the Koh-i-Noor diamond? The priceless, 105-carat gem that sits in one of British royalty's most famous crowns? Well. The crown is usually worn by the queen on coronation day, but Camilla has decided to avoid it.
The Koh-i-Noor diamond was originally mined in India before it was seized by several groups across centuries before finally finding its home in India once again. However, in the 1840s, 10-year-old ruler Maharaja Duleep Singh was coerced into giving up the diamond, Time reported.
The Koh-i-Noor would go on to become one of the British royal family's prized jewels and was placed in the Queen Mother's crown.
India has long wanted their diamond returned, and their pleas were amplified during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral when the gem was on full display in the crown placed on her casket. But to no avail.
9. Kate Middleton may not wear a tiara to the coronation. (OK this one may sound silly at first, but there's weird tea behind it.)
Basically, there are rumors circling that no royal woman will be allowed to wear a tiara at the coronation — including the UK's next intended queen, Kate Middleton.
When you directly compare this coronation to Queen Elizabeth II's, almost every royal woman donned a tiara. And there are two main speculations as to why this may be happening:
1. Remember when we discussed the housing crisis and protests? Well. Having royals walk around in millions of dollars worth of jewels is not a good look right now.
2. This one is a bit more sinister, but when it was expected that Meghan Markle may make an appearance, it was rumored that the palace was planning on how to keep her attendance as neutral as possible. One such suggestion may have been to keep her from wearing a tiara. But that would have been very awkward, and potentially made her stand out more, so the conclusion was that no royal woman wears one.