The Duke of Sussex is in a “predicament” over whether to attend the coronation, The Telegraph understands.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have no idea how their attendance at the ceremony might be received by the British public or even other members of the Royal family.
Aware that it will be “pretty much the most important day” of his father’s life, the Duke would like to be by the King’s side to mark the historic occasion.
He is also keen to salvage the broken relationship with his family. However, the rift between the two sides has never been deeper.
The day of the Coronation, May 6, is also their son, Archie’s, fourth birthday. And while that is not expected to be the deciding factor in their decision, it will certainly play a part.
If one or both do not attend, they could be accused of “snubbing” the family. If they do attend, they run the risk of being booed or labelled hypocrites.
“It’s complicated,” one friend said. “There are a million different variables. Anybody could understand the predicament.”
Both the Duke and the Duchess are expected to be invited to the Westminster Abbey ceremony and other members of the Royal family are understood to have been told that will be the case.
Invitations have not yet been sent out but guests are due to start receiving them within days.
Despite much private discussion in recent weeks, the Sussexes have not personally received any confirmation that they will be invited, let alone the role they might play, and are wary of making assumptions.
“They’ll cross that bridge when they come to it,” the friend said. “They do not have any insight. They’re in limbo.”
The couple will not make a decision until an invitation lands on their doormat in Montecito, California.
Then, they must decide whether the Duke attends at all, on his own or with Meghan.
If either of them does fly over to the UK for the ceremony, it is understood the visit will be brief.
The Duke would have no official role during the ceremony. He would likely join other members of the Royal family who are traditionally seated in the Royal Gallery in the Abbey.
The King is said to have scrapped the tradition of royal Dukes kneeling and “paying homage” to the monarch. That role will now be performed only by the Prince of Wales.
Buckingham Palace has not yet revealed who will be in the procession to or from the Abbey or who will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF flypast.
However, neither the Duke nor the Duchess would be expected to appear on the balcony.
That honour is likely to be reserved solely for working members of the family, as it was during Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last June.
The Sussexes may also be invited to the Coronation concert, which will take place at Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7.
But given the low profile they kept at the Platinum Jubilee when they only made one public appearance at the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, they may opt out.
Asked last month whether he was planning to attend the Coronation, Prince Harry told ITV News anchor Tom Bradby: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then, but you know, the door is always open, the ball is in their court.
“There is a lot to be discussed and I really hope they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
He insisted that such conversations would have to be based on trust, amid concern they could be leaked to the media.
Both the King and Prince William were blindsided by the allegations and revelations Harry made in his memoir, Spare, and in his accompanying interviews.
As a result, many members of the Royal family were said to have lost all trust in the Duke and were “wary” of talking to him in case their words were repeated in television interviews or his next book, sources revealed.