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Joe Biden to Skip King Charles’ Coronation

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Welcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.

Joe Biden: Coronation no-show

US president Joe Biden will not attend the coronation of King Charles next month, according to the Telegraph, which claims he wants instead to prioritize an April 11 trip to Northern Ireland.

Biden is “not expected” to join dozens of heads of state for the event, sources told the paper, and will send a delegation featuring “high-profile representatives” in his place. First Lady Jill Biden may go, with her husband reportedly keen to avoid any sense the event is being snubbed.

Harry and Meghan Will Be Seated ‘Prominently’ at Coronation—if They Go

Sources close to President Biden insisted to the Telegraph that his relationship with Charles was “strong,” and may make time to meet him when he visits Northern Ireland.

President Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. Historically it was considered diplomatic not to send a figure who would overshadow the monarch being crowned.

Not exactly palatial

The appalling pay and crappy accommodation all too often offered to royal staff has long been a cause of grievance in the palace. But photographs published today in MailOnline of the litter-strewn, rodent-infested apartments equipped with filthy fridges and encumbered with blocked toilets in Wellington Barracks, where members of the king’s guard live, just yards from Buckingham Palace, are likely to renew demands for action on the issue.

The barracks is home to five of the army’s most high-profile regiments: the Coldstream, Grenadier, Irish, Scots, and Welsh Guards—better known as the people standing on guard outside royal palaces in bearskin hats.

One former Coldstream Guard, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: “It’s a disgusting way to treat soldiers who are doing a very important job. Prisoners in Britain have better living conditions than we do.

“Wellington Barracks is absolutely filthy but from the outside they look great. Tourists stand at the gates to take pictures, but they wouldn’t believe what life is like for soldiers inside.

“The rats would die in the bins, and we’d have to clean them out when doing block jobs in the morning. There are piles of rubbish inside the accommodation areas and the stench from the toilets is unbearable. All the problems are in the blocks where the privates live.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards take part in the Changing of the Guard in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain October 4, 2021.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Kirsty O'Connor/Pool via REUTERS</div>

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards take part in the Changing of the Guard in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain October 4, 2021.

Kirsty O'Connor/Pool via REUTERS

“I can promise you this would not happen in the officers block. I couldn’t take it anymore, it was worse than living in a filthy squat. I put up with it for several years, but nothing changed. The British public need to know how soldiers in this country are treated.”

One soldier said: “If you said something to a senior officer, they would either ignore you or tell you to fuck off, so we just stopped complaining. The whole thing is a joke. We’re guarding some of the most famous people and buildings in the world then return to a filthy hell hole once our day’s work is done.”

One soldier said that 32 privates live on each floor and have to share six toilets and two bathrooms between them.

Harry urged to tell truth on drugs

A conservative think tank wants to know what Prince Harry said on his U.S. visa application about his drug use.

Samuel Dewey, a senior lawyer at the Heritage Foundation—which has filed a Freedom of Information request to see Harry’s application—told the Mail on Sunday: “It is in the public interest to know how Prince Harry answered the drug question. If he has been honest and open about his drug use, and there is no reason to believe he has not been, it could well be that he ticked the 'yes' box, in which case he would need a waiver to be granted a visa to be admitted into the States. That means he would have had to be interviewed in person and someone would have had to grant him a waiver. We are simply asking who granted that waiver.”

The think-tank wants to know how Harry answered “Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?”—given his previous admissions of drug use. Typically, the paper says, answering yes means you won’t be let into the country.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Britain's Prince Harry walks outside the High Court, in London, Britain March 30, 2023.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">REUTERS/Toby Melville</div>

Britain's Prince Harry walks outside the High Court, in London, Britain March 30, 2023.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Dewey said: “An admission of drug use doesn't automatically ban you for ever. There is a waiver process and a lot of people get a waiver on a case-by-case basis. If Prince Harry was given a waiver, who authorized it? Was the correct protocol followed? It's something the American people deserve to know. There is no suggestion Prince Harry did anything wrong and, if he was granted a waiver, he may not be aware of any political strings that may have been pulled, if indeed they were. But there is a danger he could become an unwitting pawn in an issue which has become a political hot potato.”

Another question: is a conservative think tank trying to stir up mischief for President Biden around the issue of immigration, with a liberal-leaning high-profile celebrity they can bash on as a bonus too?

Subscribe here to get all the latest royal news and gossip with Tom Sykes and Tim Teeman.

Meghan wins

Congratulations to Meghan Markle who has won a Gracie Award for her Spotify podcast Archetypes, which featured guests including Serena William, Paris Hilton and pop star Mariah Carey, and said it aimed to explore “labels that try to hold women back.”

The Gracie awards are organized by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Meghan wrote on the Archewell website, Meghan said: “Thank you to the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for this prestigious honor. This is a shared success for me and the team behind Archetypes – most of whom are women—and the inspiring guests who joined me each week.”

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Meghan Markle attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs</div>

Meghan Markle attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021.

REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

In other Archewell news, the organization filed its accounts this week. They show it received $13 million from two anonymous donors. Harry previously pledged to donate money from his rumored $20 million book deal to charity. Public donations came to just $4,470.

Archewell paid out $110,000 to a firm run by former Obama adviser Katie McCormick which will spark fresh speculation over Meghan’s political ambitions, the Sun says.

Boom boom

The Sun had an exclusive Saturday about a new video game called Harry & Meghan: Call of Dukey. An insider briefed that the project was being called Crown Theft Auto, and quoted a source at the firm as saying: “Prince Harry has spoken of his love of gaming so we approached him with the idea and he loved it. It seemed the logical progression after the success of his book and Netflix series. It’s all tongue-in-cheek and there are some brilliant secret levels, in­cluding one where the player finds themselves in the Duke of York’s bed­room, confronted by a raging Prince Andrew bouncing on his bed, hurling teddy bears.”

Attentive readers will note Saturday was April 1st, April Fools’ Day.

This week in royal history

On April 6, 1199, Richard I of England, aka Richard the Lionheart, died after being mortally wounded at the Siege of Chalus in France.

Unanswered questions

King Charles and Prince Harry are still dancing a delicate dance around the Coronation—how are negotiations going? And how does Prince William feel about it? Does Biden not showing up to the Coronation add to the sense that the event cannot secure A-list guests?

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