The death of Queen Elizabeth II set in motion protocols that had not been seen for over 70 years.
She died on September 8, making her son and heir the new monarch, King Charles III. One of the protocols required to officially install her as the new monarch is the Accession Council, or when Queen Elizabeth’s death is officially announced and her heir officially takes the throne, according to the official royal website.
Taking place on September 10, the Accession Council was the first event in a 10-day period of dual mourning for the former queen while installing the new king. There are two parts of the traditional ceremony and only members of the Privy Council and “certain other guests” are permitted to attend the first part. The second part is the new monarch’s first meeting with the council, during which he makes a statement and signs a document, and is only open to members of the council.
Prince Harry did not attend the ceremony, although Prince William did, along with a host of politicians and advisers who served the Queen.
Why Prince Harry didn’t attend the ceremony
The short answer is that Prince Harry is not a member of the council and it is unknown if he has ever received an invitation.
The Privy Council is made up of all cabinet ministers and a number of junior ministers who advise the monarch, according to the official royal website. These positions are appointed by the reigning monarch and being a member of the council comes with the title of “Right Honourable”.
The current members have all been appointed by Queen Elizabeth. There are over 700 members on the list.
Kim Hjelmgaard, global affairs correspondent for USA TODAY, said in an interview with TODAY that it’s possible Prince Harry was once on the list, but has since been removed.
“He may have been fired for some reason,” he said, referring to when the Queen stripped Prince Harry of his honorary titles but allowed him and his wife to retain their titles of Prince, Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex, respectively.
Notable names on the list are Prince William, who joined in 2017, and Elizabeth Truss, the UK’s new Prime Minister, who joined in 2014 when she was appointed Secretary of State for the Environment. food and rural affairs. Queen Elizabeth was pictured meeting Truss on Tuesday, just two days before he died.
Harry wasn’t the only person missing from the ceremony: NBC News contributor Wilfred Frost said the room the council would meet in had limited room, so there was some debate over who will attend .
“There are currently more than 700 members of the privy council… There is only room for about 150 to 200, so there has been a kind of debate behind the scenes between these ranks… fighting to get a position there. seat today,” he said on Friday. Morning.
Hjelmgaard said the subtext of Prince Harry’s absence from the accession ceremony is that he and his wife have grown distant from the royal family in recent years.
“Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan Markle … have obviously stepped back from royal life over the past few years for a number of different reasons. of the royal family,” Hjelmgaard said. “I mean, they still have the royal titles, but there have been allegations of mistreatment of them by the Sussexes. Allegations of occasional racism regarding the Sussexes’ child Archie, the firstborn anyway , and they moved to California. . So there’s this kind of royal family withdrawal that obviously plays into that.”
Charles will be the head of state of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
This article originally appeared on TODAY.com