World’s wildest royals set for King’s coronation as Meghan bows out – from 7,000-car Sultan to ‘Kate of the Himalayas’

KING Charles’s Coronation is only two months away and RSVPs are coming in thick and fast. 

Prince Harry announced yesterday he will attend the ceremony, but wife Meghan Markle is set to stay in Los Angeles with their children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. 


Prince Harry has accepted the invitation but Meghan Markle will stay awayCredit: The Mega Agency
The King will be crowned on Saturday May 6


The King will be crowned on Saturday May 6Credit: AP

The announcement comes after weeks of indecision – with the Sussexes even missing the April 3 deadline to respond. 

As Harry is no longer a working royal, he will not have a formal role in the ceremony and will not join the Royal Family for celebrations after. 

The Duchess of Sussex is thought to be ditching the 5,000 mile journey so she doesn’t miss Prince Archie’s fourth birthday on May 6.

Experts have said it is “unlikely” she will ever attend a royal occasion again.

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But the ceremony will not be short of royal glamour, drama and quirks. 

In a break with tradition, King Charles has decided to invite foreign monarchs to the Coronation too. 

From the “Kate Middleton of the Himalayas” to ex TV journalists, we look at who will be at the event. 

The Playboy Prince

Prince Albert's playboy reputation almost derailed his wedding to Queen Charlene


Prince Albert’s playboy reputation almost derailed his wedding to Queen CharleneCredit: Getty

Prince Albert of Monaco had a colourful love life before he made ex-Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock his Princess.

He was dubbed a playboy after dating a string of glamorous lovelies from supermodel Claudia Schiffer and singer Kylie Minogue to Roger Moore’s daughter Deborah.

He was mired in scandal after former Air France flight attendant Nicole Coste gave birth to his son Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste in August 2003 – two years before Albert started dating Charlene.

But Alexandre’s existence was only made public in May 2005 when Nicole gave an explosive interview to Paris Match magazine, revealing who her son’s father was

Albert, the son of Hollywood icon Grace Kelly,  confirmed Alexandre, now 20, was his child two months later.

The following year he admitted he also had a secret daughter Jazmin Grimaldi, now 29, born to American estate agent Tamara Rotolo, who he met while she was on holiday in the South of France in 1991.

His marriage to Charlene, 45, has been fraught with difficulties.

She is said to have bolted two days before their 2011 wedding after hearing rumours the Prince had fathered a third love child during their relationship. 

Charlene is said to have tried to flee home to South Africa three times but Monaco officials allegedly coaxed her back.

She was pictured in tears on her wedding day as Albert looked on impassively –  but later denied she was upset.  She then confessed she felt ‘very lonely’ in Monaco.

The couple had twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, in 2014 but rumours persisted in French newspapers that Charlene was being paid £10m a year to stay with the Prince

In 2021, she took a 10-month medical hiatus in South Africa and Switzerland after developing an ear nose and throat infection.

Her time away coincided with claims Albert had fathered another love child with an unnamed Brazilian woman while he and Charlene were dating. He has strenuously denied the allegation.

Since returning to Monaco has since made rare public appearances with her husband including at the late Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral in September last year.

They pointedly have made a display of unity at recent official visits to dispel divorce rumours. 

The billionaire car enthusiast

The Sultan of Brunei is a controversial figure


The Sultan of Brunei is a controversial figureCredit: Getty – Contributor
Ferraris make up a small part of the collection


Ferraris make up a small part of the collection

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah is one of the world’s richest people with absolute power over his subjects.

He and his brother Jefri – who has been involved in a number of sex scandals – are said to own more than 7,000 luxury cars kept in huge warehouses.

As Sultan, Hassanal is also Prime Minister of the tiny, oil-rich nation which was a British protectorate until 1984.

On the death of the Queen last year he became the world’s longest reigning living monarch.

Hassanal, who ascended the throne in 1967, came under fire in 2014 for introducing Sharia law which includes death by stoning, the severing of limbs, and flogging for ‘crimes’ such as adultery, abortion and gay sex.

Celebrities George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres called for a boycott of Dorchester hotels, which the Brunei royal family owns.

In 2015 the Sultan also banned public celebrations of Christmas for local Muslims.

His brother Jefri Bolkiah was accused of keeping ex-Miss USA Shannon Marketic a ‘virtual slave’ in the early 90s after hiring her for promotional work.

She filed a lawsuit against the Prince in 1997 alleging she was drugged and sexually abused but a US court dismissed it on the grounds he had sovereign immunity.

The Sultan’s younger sibling has been dubbed the ‘sex-crazed Prince’ and is also famed for keeping a 40-strong harem.   He once commissioned sexually-explicit statues of himself and his then-fiancee.

The brothers’ fleet of motors includes rare McLaren F1s and prototypes of the BMW Nazca C2 and Ferrari Mythos, which never made it to market.

The Sultan also owns two Boeings – one decked out with crystal and gold –  and an Airbus.

The ex-news hound

Queen Letizia is married to the Spanish King Felipe VI


Queen Letizia is married to the Spanish King Felipe VICredit: Getty
The Queen is a former reporter and news anchor


The Queen is a former reporter and news anchorCredit: Getty

Queen Letizia of Spain is a divorcee who once worked as a journalist for ABC before becoming a news anchor at CNN.

Married to King Felipe VI, she was left heartbroken after losing her sister Erika Ortiz, 31, to a drugs overdose in 2007.

Letizia became a royal after a life in the media, covering presidential elections in 2000, broadcasting live from Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks and filing reports from the Iraq war.

Her husband became King when dad Juan Carlos – said to have bedded 5,000 women – abdicated after close to 40 years on the throne. 

He gave up the title after a corruption investigation surrounding his alleged involvement in a controversial  high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia. He was later cleared of wrongdoing.

The Queen with a family secret

Queen Maxima had to wed without her dad


Queen Maxima had to wed without her dadCredit: Getty

When Queen Maxima of the Netherlands married Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002, the Dutch government refused to invite her father Jorge.

He was a high-ranking official in the right-wing Argentinian government during the ‘Dirty War’, a seven year campaign waged against left-leaning dissidents from 1976.

More than 30,000 people ‘disappeared’ during the campaign.

Maxima, 51, who met Willem in 1999, got married without her dad present after an investigation was launched by the Dutch Government, run by Professor Michiel Baud, a Latin American history expert.

Baud determined that Máxima’s father had not been directly involved in any of the atrocities but that he must have been aware of them.

The future queen and the fitness instructor

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria, who married a commoner


Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria, who married a commonerCredit: Getty

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will be at the coronation with her father King Carl XVI Gustav.

Victoria broke with royal protocol in 2010 when she married her commoner husband Daniel Westling in Stockholm.

The 45-year-old further broke with tradition when much like Meghan Markle, she walked only halfway down the aisle with her father.

She was then joined by gym owner Daniel, now 49, to walk down the rest of the aisle together in a symbol of equality.

The pair met in one of Daniel’s gyms but initially the Swedish royals weren’t too keen on her choice of partner.

Daniel is reported to have hired a PR company to help him transition into a well-manicured royal.

Victoria’s younger brother Prince Carl Philip of Sweden will not be attending the coronation with his former reality star wife Sofia Hellqvist.

But their marriage has raised eyebrows because Sofia Hellqvist, who met Carl in a nightclub, was once a glamour model who featured in a Swedish lad’s mag wearing just a bikini bottom and a boa constrictor around her top half. 

She also starred in Swedish reality show Paradise Hotel, a tropical version of Big Brother, where single contestants are paired off with a house mate for a week and was caught on camera sharing a kiss with US porn star Jenna Jameson.

The ‘Kate Middleton of the Himalayas’

The Dragon King with the Queen of Bhutan, known as the Kate Middleton of the Himalayas


The Dragon King with the Queen of Bhutan, known as the Kate Middleton of the HimalayasCredit: Getty

Bhutan’s Dragon King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema have long drawn comparison to the Prince and Princess of Wales since they too married in 2011.

Like Kate, Jetsun was a commoner and shares a love of fashion, sport and fine arts, leading to Jetsun’s nickname as the “Kate Middleton of the Himalayas”. 

Her father was a pilot while Kate’s mother Carole was an air stewardess. 

The two women met in 2016, when Prince William and Princess Kate visited Bhutan on a royal tour. 

Jigme succeeded his father Jigme Singye in 2007 after he abdicated to make way for his son.

Now aged just seven, the current crown prince Jigme Nangyel is the youngest in the world. 

Prince William’s pals

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Maria-Olympia at the wedding of distant cousin Princess Eugenie


Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Maria-Olympia at the wedding of distant cousin Princess EugenieCredit: Getty

Following the death of King Constantine II, Queen Anne-Marie, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece will be at the coronation.

The late King of the Greek monarchy which was abolished in 1970, was godfather to Prince William and close to the British royal family. 

In turn, Pavlos and British-born American heiress Princess Marie Chantal chose Prince William when he was just 16 to be godfather to their son Constantine.

Constantine, now aged 24, is happily dating British model Poppy Delevingne and lives in London. 

Pavlos and Marie-Chantal are said to be looking to relocate to Athens from New York.

The Change-maker

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and his wife Ahad bint Abdullah meet the late Queen at Windsor


Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and his wife Ahad bint Abdullah meet the late Queen at WindsorCredit: Getty

The Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said became friends with King Charles after welcoming him and Queen consort Camilla to the country in 2016.

He took over from his cousin Qaboos bin Said, who died in 2020 aged 79, and has carried on his progressive rule.

When Qaboos took over in 1970, the British-educated Sultan inherited a nation with just three schools and laws banning electricity, radios, glasses and even umbrellas.

Under his rule, Oman has become a tourist destination and key Middle East go-between on US-Arab diplomatic matters.

Haitham has changed the Basic Law of Oman to allow residents freedom of expression and axed a law that allowed the state to monitor social media.  

But the country still outlaws homosexuality and exploits foreign migrants.

The slimmed down monarchy fan 

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and his wife Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will be attending


Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and his wife Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will be attendingCredit: AFP

Queen Margarethe of Denmark’s will not be attending due to having “extensive back surgery”.

In her place the Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary will attend the coronation.

It’ll be one of their first outings after the Queen stripped his brother Joachim’s children of their titles. 

Nikoli, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13 and eleven-year-old Athena went from prince and princesses to counts and countesses. The children were from Joachim’s first marriage but he said they had been ‘harmed’ in the process.

The move is said  to have caused a rift between Frederik and his brother and their respective wives

The slimming down of her Royal family is said to have given inspiration to King Charles, who wants a pared-back monarchy.

The Queen later said it was better she made the decision than leave it to her Frederik.

She told Danish title Ekstra Bladet: “It’s better that I did. Because then it’s the old lady that made the decision.”

The Prince obeying royal protocol

Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko will come in place of the Emperor


Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko will come in place of the EmperorCredit: Alamy

Crown Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko have confirmed they will attend the ceremony in place of his brother Emperor Naruhito. 

The Crown Prince and Princess are set to stay at Claridges during their first ever visit to Britain.

As a matter of protocol, the Emperor does not go to foreign coronation ceremonies. 

He also does not attend funerals as they are considered “impure” but made an exception for the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

They first met in May 1975 when her Majesty visited Tokyo during her one and only visit to Japan.

In 1983, he had tea with the Queen after being invited to a Garden party and a year later spent time with her and Prince Philip at Balmoral.

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He was apparently impressed that the Queen poured her own tea.

Just like her late Majesty’s adoration of husband Phillip, Naruhito’s love for his wife Empress Masako is said to be all consuming and he twice proposed to her before she finally agreed to marry him.

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