Meghan and Harry ‘had to wait’ to be welcomed to Coronation claims Omid Scobie
King Charles III will welcome a host of guests to his May 6 Coronation, with approximately 2,000 people attending the ceremony this weekend. Many of those will include politicians and officials, with beloved public figures and members of the public also tipped to join. But some guests of honour come with less than spotless reputations and may prove controversial for some sections of the general public.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is among the many senior royals believed to be attending the Windsor patriarch’s ceremony this year.
Under normal circumstances, as the King’s brother, his addition wouldn’t usually raise eyebrows.
But his recent history makes the prince’s upcoming presence controversial.
He stepped back from his royal duties in 2019 as a firestorm erupted following a BBC Newsnight interview focussing on his friendship with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell.
He relinquished his royal titles around two years later, in January 2022.
Former prime ministers
Buckingham Palace has extended Coronation invitations to each living former Prime Minister, given the King’s role as UK head of state.
While Charles has reigned for less than a year, but has already lived through two British premiers; Rishi Sunak and his predecessor, Liz Truss.
Ms Truss will most likely prove the most controversial of the two, given her lightning-quick seven-week-long premiership, which, while short, included the infamous “Growth Plan 2022” and consequential national financial instability.
She left after seven weeks, becoming the shortest-lived Prime Minister in British history.
Another controversial former PM is Boris Johnson, who resigned in disgrace on September 6, 2022.
The end of his rocky two-year premiership followed mass Government resignations protesting his involvement in the Chris Pincher scandal.
He is currently the subject of a Privileges Committee investigation, with a cross-party panel to determine whether he knowingly misled Parliament regarding parties held at Number 10 during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ferdinand Marcos, president of the Philippines
Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, known as “Bongbong” in his home country, is the son of the nation’s former dictator, with whom he shares a name.
The Marcos family was exiled from the Philippines and settled in Hawaii following Ferdinand Senior’s ousting at the hands of a 1986 popular uprising.
Bongbong played an active role in his father’s dictatorship as the Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte from 1983 at the age of 23.
He became the Philippine national premier in 2022 following a widely panned campaign in which he allegedly smeared his articles and sought to revamp the Marcos family image following the decades-long dictatorship.
During his presidency, Bongbong’s father oversaw significant government corruption, widening wealth inequality, and eventually martial law.
The new premier announced that he and his wife accepted an invitation to the Coronation earlier this month.
Haitham bin Tariq, Sultan of Oman
Haitham bin Tariq is another foreign dignitary widely expected to attend the Coronation.
He was present at Queen Elizabeth II’s 2022 funeral and previously personally greeted the now King and Queen Consort when they visited his home nation in 2016.
While he is friendly with the Royal Family, human rights campaigners have highlighted issues with his rule of Oman, where he has served as King since January 2020.
In a 2021 report, the charity Human Rights Watch concluded that freedom of expression “remains squeezed”, with local activists and citizens targeted for critical views expressed on social media.
Women are almost entirely unrepresented in the national government, and LGBT expression is also restricted, with same-sex relations punishable by law.
Oman’s foreign ministry has said the country’s government believes that upholding human rights principles is a “cornerstone of societies’ growth”.
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