Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has shared his thoughts about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, following Prince Harry’s confirmation of attendance at King Charles III’s coronation next month.
The British-born punk musician, also known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, lives just 60 miles away from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Montecito, California home.
After the couple stepped down as senior working royals in 2020, the two relocated their family to Markle’s home state of California.
Since then, they’ve shared several bombshell revelations about their time in the royal family – from their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, to their six-part Netflix docuseries, to Harry’s memoir, Spare.
In an interview with The Telegraph published on 12 April, Lydon expressed his sympathy with Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the United Kingdom. However, he admitted that he doesn’t “like the noise they’re making” since walking away from the royal family.
“So messy,” Lydon said. “If you want to be normal and outside of [the Royal Family], then f*** off. Just f*** off and shut up.”
The 67-year-old singer said he can relate to Harry and Meghan because he too had to leave the Sex Pistols in 1978 and briefly disbanded his own group, Public Image Ltd, in 1993.
“I’ve had to make decisions like this in the past. I had to leave the Pistols, I had to break up PiL a couple of times because the situation was unsustainable,” he explained.
“And if that was their dilemma then please go away, alright? And we’ll love you for it. But they won’t. And I’ve never been one for kiss and tell books.”
He added: “They’re very, very spiteful to families and friends.”
As for whether he’s looking forward to the upcoming coronation of King Charles on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey in London, the controversial artist replied:
“Bonnie Prince Charlie now being king. Well, he’s got his finger in very many pies. He has promised to lay off his more left-wing leanings as king but I doubt that.”
The Sex Pistols singer has often shared his thoughts about the royal family. In 1977, the punk band released their iconic song – “God Save The Queen” – just before the silver jubilee of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Following her death in September 2022, Lydon said it was “tasteless and disrespectful” of the band to financially benefit from her passing after the track was re-released earlier that year.
“John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death,” reps for Lydon tweeted at the time.
“The musicians in the band and their management have approved a number of requests against John’s wishes on the basis of the majority court-ruling agreement.”
They continued: “John wrote the lyrics to this historical song, and while he has never supported the monarchy, he feels that the family deserves some respect in this difficult time, as would be expected for any other person or family when someone close to them has died.”
Just four months before her death, the musician maintained his anti-monarchy stance but praised the late Queen’s “sense of dignity” ahead of her platinum jubilee.
“I’ve always viewed the royal family as a bunch of German tourists with a Greek thrown in… I don’t want to pay no more tax to keep that institution alive.
But I totally respect [the queen] as a real person,” Lydon told Piers Morgan on Talk TV in May 2022. “She’s enjoyed that and maintained… a sense of dignity. I’m always attracted to pageantry.”
On 12 April, Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Harry will attend the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on 6 May. However, his wife Meghan will stay at home in California with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6 May,” the Palace said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”
The duke’s confirmation at the King’s coronation comes after months of speculation over whether he would attend the ceremony.
It was previously reported that Harry was seeking an “apology” from his father, Charles, and his brother, the Prince of Wales, before he made any commitment to the ceremony.
Ahead of the publication of his tell-all memoir, Harry said in an interview that the “door is always open” for reconciliation.
King Charles III will be crowned during a “slimmed-down” coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London on Saturday 6 May.