The Mercury News Weekend
Pop stars snub King Charles' coronation
If their eviction from Frogmore Cottage prompts Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to skip King Charles III's coronation, they probably won't be missing anything in terms of major entertainment.
A number of British pop artists have turned down the opportunity to play at the new king's coronation in May, with Adele, Harry Styles, Robbie Williams and Elton John reportedly declining invitations to perform.
When asked for their reasons, the musicians' reps have either cited scheduling conflicts or declined to comment altogether. However, U.K. publicists and some fellow musicians and fans told Rolling Stone that these stars may be turned off by the barrage of royal scandals in recent years, or they may be reluctant to associate with an institution that younger generations see as unfairly privileged or representative of a racist, colonialist past.
Charles, 73, moreover isn't as globally beloved as his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, while artists also may fear it would be bad optics to participate in a lavish, heavy-on-thepomp celebration while ordinary Britons struggle to afford food or heat amid the country's cost-of-living crisis.
“The royal family has faced a number of PR disasters in recent times, and anyone performing at the show would have to consider whether there would be a backlash from appearing amongst their fans,” Simon Jones, a publicist for Little Mix, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson told Rolling Stone. The PR disasters include the fallout from Prince Andrew's sex abuse allegations and friendship with sex trafficking defendants Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
People in Britain have accused the royal family of turning a blind eye to Andrew's association with Epstein, a financier and friend to the rich and famous who died by suicide in 2019 after he was arrested on charges of forcing teenage girls to have sex with his powerful friends.
The head of a British music PR company added that royalism is “a dirty idea” for many young fans.