Why Prince Louis Left in the Middle of King Charles III's Coronation

The young royal attended the historic ceremony along with Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte.

Prince Louis needed a break. 

Following much speculation regarding whether the 5-year-old royal would attend the coronation of his grandfather, King Charles III, on Saturday, Louis looked to be on his best behavior as he arrived at Westminster Abbey with his sister, Princess Charlotte, and parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton

Louis entered the Abbey in procession with his family, while his older brother, Prince George, played a key role elsewhere as a page to the king. At one point, Louis was seen adorably holding hands with Charlotte. Later, he appeared to become restless in his seat while his mother whispered in his ear. He was also notably photographed letting out a big, hilariously unapologetic yawn. 

The prince ended up leaving midway through the historic ceremony, with viewers noticing his absence as cameras panned to his parents and sister while the congregation sang "Praise Him." 

ET has learned that Louis' early exit was all part of a plan by the palace, and that he was expected to process into the Abbey with his parents and retire before the completion of the service. Louis later returned to his seat toward the end of the event, singing "God Save the King" as the newly crowned Charles walked out of the abbey.

Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Ahead of the coronation, royal reporter Omid Scobie suggested as much to ET.

"He was restless [at the Platinum Jubilee] and I think there are already plans in place for Louis on the day of, it's a two-hour ceremony," Scobie said. "So, unlike his older brother, Prince George, who plays a central role and we'll see him in that procession, the page of honor, Louis may be there for the arrivals but then may dip out for a little while and reappear towards the end."

The decision to include Louis in the historic event comes after the young prince was noticeably absent from the funeral of his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September.

The now 5-year-old made a stir back in June 2022 at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the late queen, sticking his tongue out, shouting, and making silly faces during multiple public appearances. A royal source told ET last month that William and Kate would be making a decision about whether Louis would be attending his grandfather's coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey closer to the time of the service.

Ahead of the coronation, Kate was asked by a well-wisher whether she thought Louis would behave for the big day. "I hope so," she said. "You never quite know with kids." 

With King Charles III on the throne, Louis is now fourth in the line of succession behind his father, Prince William, his older brother, Prince George, 9, and his older sister, Princess Charlotte, 8.

Meanwhile, George served as a page of honor at the crowning ceremony. According to The Telegraph, George's role is historic as it marks the first time in modern history that a royal who is a future monarch is involved in the service. George, who is second in line to the throne, is the youngest future king to have a role in the ceremony.

King Charles III's coronation on Saturday formalized his role as the head of the Church of England and marked the transfer of his title and powers. It's also the official moment he was crowned king. 

King Charles was crowned with the St Edward's Crown from the 17th century, which weighs nearly five pounds, has a solid gold frame and 444 stones.

Meanwhile, his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, was anointed and crowned as queen. Camilla is the first divorcee to be crowned, and the coronation invitation that was released in April made headlines when it referred to her as Queen Camilla for the first time. Until then, she was described as queen consort.

As for Prince Harry, he attended the coronation, but his wife, Meghan Markle, did not join him. This new comes amid tension within the royal family after the December release of Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, and the Duke of Sussex's bestselling memoir, Spare, which came out in January. Both the doc and the book were critical of Harry's family and also shared intimate details about the royals from the couple's perspective.

While Harry is in England, Meghan will be staying at their home in Montecito, California, with their two children -- son Archie, who is turning 4 on the day of the coronation, and 1-year-old daughter Lilibet. Despite Harry and Meghan's estrangement from the royals, the couple is featured in the official souvenir program celebrating the coronation, which includes a happy photo of the family -- including Prince WilliamKate Middleton and their three kids, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis -- celebrating King Charles' 70th birthday in 2018.

Although the actual anointment during the coronation ceremony was not broadcast publicly, plenty of special programming and live footage from the ceremony is available to watch on CBS and Paramount+. Audiences will also be able to view coverage on CBS News, including the concert featuring Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on Sunday, May 7. Additionally, others can watch the coronation online on these streaming platforms.