Charles and Camilla’s Easter celebrations were a time for reconciliation

Leading with love, the royal couple proved any rift can be reconciled

They’re in the midst of the build-up to one of the most stressful times of their lives. But for King Charles and Queen Camilla, the secret to being able to keep calm and carry on as the coronation approaches is to put family first and spend as much time as possible relaxing with loved ones.

They did this over the Easter break, enjoying time with family members both in public and behind closed doors. The royals turned out in force for the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, with the new monarch and his consort leading a procession from Windsor Castle to the church. Afterwards, there was a gathering at the castle, which was less formal than in previous years when the late Queen was the head of the family.

William and Kate with kids George, Charlotte and Louis.

Royal expert Jennie Bond says it was a chance for Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, to “kick back” before preparations ramp up ahead of the coronation on May 6. The informality of the get-together was not only an antidote to the pressure they’re dealing with at the moment, but is likely to become the standard for years to come.

“Charles and Camilla will lead in a change of tradition,” says Jennie, formerly the BBC’s royal correspondent. “As well as the formality of appearing at church services, I’m sure an Easter egg hunt for the children would have been organised.

“The family was in awe of Queen Elizabeth, whom most of them had known only as this important sovereign figure and someone to whom you had to show the utmost respect. But Charles is different in that they’ve all grown up with him as Dad or Uncle Charles and this will have brought an informality to their time together. The grandchildren would have been jumping on his knee to give him a hug.”

Zara put on a bright show with Mike and daughters Mia (far left) and Lena. Following is Princess Beatrice and husband Eduardo.

Charles understands the importance of modernising the monarchy and making it appear more relevant and relatable. That’s why the recently released official photo of him and Camilla, shot by Hugo Burnand at Buckingham Palace, shows the couple looking relaxed and happy as they pose with their arms around each other. And why he’s keen to get the message across that at the heart of the long-standing institution is a family whose members are devoted to duty.

However, given that dedication is such an important trait to Charles, the fact that his disgraced younger brother Prince Andrew appeared in a prominent position in the procession heading to church shocked many royal observers. Andrew, no longer a working royal since facing claims of sexual abuse, walked behind the King and alongside their sister Princess Anne, 72, with whom he was having an animated discussion. One veteran royal observer says it was a surprise to see Andrew, 63, there and so engaged with his sister as they “are not usually that close”.

The King with his siblings Anne and Andrew.

In the past, Charles has been vehement about Andrew staying out of the limelight. It’s believed he advised the Queen to strip his brother of his Duke of York title back in 2021. But while Andrew doesn’t get to participate in official events, there’s nothing to stop him attending family ones, like the Easter service.

Another insider says, “There’s a strict delineation between family events like holidays and anything official. Plus, it would have been awkward for Charles not to invite Andrew when his two girls, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were there with their husbands. But there is no way back into public life for Andrew.”

A pregnant Princess Eugenie and husband Jack.

Andrew, 63, will be at the coronation but won’t make an appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace afterwards as he is not a working royal. The same rule may apply to Prince Harry, who is attending without his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 41. It’s understood she will remain in the US to celebrate their son Archie’s fourth birthday, which is on the same day as the coronation.

According to a new book, Our King: Charles III – The Man and the Monarch, the King has come under pressure to strip the pair of their titles. Author Robert Jobson says senior palace officials have discussed whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles should be removed following the couple’s exit from their senior royal roles. It was felt Harry, 38, had “turned his back” on the royal family, and was “Meghan’s hostage”.

The invitation, sent out to 2000 guests, was printed on recycled paper with symbols of spring to celebrate a new reign.

However, the King is not in favour of taking away those titles, says Robert. “Charles is deeply saddened by the widening gulf between him and his youngest son and wishes he could see more of the Sussexes’ two children.”

But if Harry continues to level accusations at his family – as he has done in his book Spare – that stance could change. “Ultimately, despite Charles’ enduring love for his son, he will come under increasing pressure if Harry continues to attack the monarchy.”

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