Buckingham Palace enigma: major artists refuse to sing at King Charles' coronation

Adele, Elton John and Robbie Williams are among the British singers who declined to participate in the historic royal event.

Several artists have turned down the opportunity to perform at the coronation ceremony of Britain's King Charles III and experts believe the reason is that most are avoiding association with a monarchy rife with controversy.

British royals are preparing to officially crown the son of the late Queen Elizabeth II on May 6. However, local media have reported that the palace is having trouble booking British artists to commemorate the historic event.

Adele, Elton John, Harry Styles, Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls have been among those who have been invited to the event to perform and have declined.

According to Page Six magazine, most of the musicians avoided explaining the reason for their rejection, but experts believe that the artists' performance may not benefit them at this time when the monarchy has been embroiled in several controversies.

"These big symbolic associations carry a lot of weight and literally go down in history books in bold and underlined. I can understand why there’d be a big PR discussion around artists doing it or not," explained Meg, a director of a music PR firm.

Meg added that King Charles III does not have a legacy that "anyone wants to align themselves with," so while many people will hear the artist on television during the event, in the long run it may not be beneficial.

"I don’t know if performing would add positively to an artist’s narrative unless they were staunchly pro the monarchy," she said.

Simon Jones, Little Mix, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson's publicist also felt similarly, noting that the royal family has faced "a number of PR disasters in recent times, and anyone performing at the show would have to consider whether there would be a backlash from appearing amongst their fans".

Major scandals

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have been two of the main protagonists of the most recent royal controversies, for the recent documentary of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the publication of Spare, the memoirs of the youngest son of the late Princess Diana.

On top of this, Prince Andrew, younger brother of King Charles III was linked to sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein and the royal family has failed to completely disassociate itself from the Duke of York.