Ahead of Spitting Image: The Musical in the West End, puppet versions of the monarch and his youngest son, the Duke of Sussex, made an appearance on ITV’s daytime show on Friday (2 May) morning.
The royal puppets sat down with hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary for an “exclusive interview” in which the Harry puppet joked about his wife, the Duchess of Sussex’s absence.
The segment began with King Charles’s puppet declaring they have some “exciting news”, clarifying: “No, [Queen] Camilla isn’t pregnant… I don’t think. Harry and I have put our differences aside and made up. There are some things that are far more important than petty family arguments – like starring together on stage in London’s glittering West End in Spitting Image: The Musical.”
Asked how their reunion came about, the Harry puppet answered: “Well, Meghan, who always loves a bit of drama, told me that I can literally change the world and stuff through the power of theatre and art, so I now identify as a thespian.”
Hammond jumped in and asked: “Talking about Meghan, how is she?”
The Harry puppet replied: “Oh, Meg’s great. She really gets and totally understands the importance and family and stuff, and that’s why she’s not here today, because it’s Archie’s fourth birthday… again.
“It’s like an unofficial birthday thing, like Granny used to have. We’re upholding a great family tradition, but obviously without the old fogies saying racist stuff.”
The puppet referred to Meghan’s absence from King Charles’s coronation last month. Harry attended the historic occasion at Westminster Abbey alone while Meghan stayed at home in Montecito, California, with their two children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
Archie’s fourth birthday fell on the same day as the coronation, and it is understood that Harry left immediately after the ceremony to fly home in time for his son’s celebrations.
The puppet also referred to the two birthdays held by the monarch. The late Queen Elizabeth had an “unofficial” birthday on the second Saturday of June, although her actual birthday was on 21 April.
King Charles will continue the tradition of the “unofficial” birthday in the summer, while his actual birthday is on 14 November.
The Harry puppet also nodded at a scandal that rocked the royal family that involved the Sussexes alleging that an unnamed member of the family of expressing concern over how “dark” Archie’s skin would be before he was born.
The couple made the claim during their explosive 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, but they have never named the family member who allegedly said the comment.
Later, Harry denied that he and Meghan accused the royals of racism and blamed the media for misinterpreting their remarks.
In an interview with ITV’s Tom Brady ahead of the release of his controversial memoir Spare, Harry said: “The British press said that, right? Did Meghan ever mention, ‘They’re racists’?”
He added that there had indeed been concerns within the royal family about Archie’s skin colour, but insisted he would not describe them as “essentially racist”. “I wouldn’t,” he said. “Not having lived within that family.
“Going back to the difference between what my understanding is, because of my own experience, the difference between racism and unconscious bias – the two things are different.”
Spitting Image: The Musical runs at the Phoenix Theatre until 26 August.