Where were the Waleses?
In the down-to-the-minute choreography of Saturday’s coronation, William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, had been expected to arrive outside Westminster Abbey at roughly 10:45 a.m. They would be among the last guests to enter the church before the stars of the show, King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
Instead, Charles and Camilla pulled up to the abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach and then, rather awkwardly, did not alight. Instead, the royal couple stayed put for about five minutes, as cameras caught an aide conferring with a perplexed-looking Charles about the apparent delay.
Were William and Kate running late? Or was it that the king’s coach had arrived early? None of the hundreds of journalists loitering by the broadcast booths outside Buckingham Palace seemed to know for sure. But for a while, it seemed the Waleses were AWOL.
“We frankly expected to see them before this moment,” Savannah Guthrie of NBC told her “Today” show viewers, although William and Catherine were always scheduled to be among the latest arrivals. “So we will see how all this unfolds.”
Eventually, a car zipped up and deposited William and Catherine and their children — George, Charlotte and Louis — at the abbey.
There was no immediate comment from the relevant parties, and so the reporters were left to speculate. Some TV commentators said they recognized in William and Catherine the harried faces of parents who had just been corralling a brood. Others raised the prospect of a traffic jam, although the surrounding streets had been cleared of cars.
Hours later, it remained unclear if the Waleses had technically been delayed at all. But it wouldn’t be a royal occasion without some gossip.