Prince Harry flew to the UK this week for a brief visit to see his father, King Charles III, after learning of the monarch’s recent cancer diagnosis.
According to a report by Express, The Duke of Sussex arrived at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday afternoon and headed straight to Clarence House, where Charles and Queen Consort Camilla reside.
The father and son met privately for around 45 minutes, marking their first in-person encounter since Charles’s coronation last May. Few details have emerged about their discussion, which came on the heels of Harry’s bombshell memoir and docuseries levying accusations against the royal family. Their relationship has been strained in recent years.
Harry departed Clarence House less than an hour after arriving, not staying the night at any royal residence. He reportedly spent the evening at a luxury hotel in London. The next day, he promptly returned to the airport to fly back to his home in California, where his wife Meghan and their two young children had remained.
Royal experts have described Harry’s UK visit as a reassuring show of support for Charles as he faces a cancer diagnosis. Although their conflicts are far from resolved, Harry appeared willing to temporarily set aside tensions to be there for his father in a difficult time. His rapid trip to the UK and back underscored the urgency of seeing Charles upon hearing the troubling news.
The King’s cancer was discovered during a routine check-up and diagnosed at an early stage, according to the palace. Further details about his condition and prognosis have not been not released. Charles, 74, had already been under medical supervision for an unrelated issue.
Harry’s brief sojourn to the UK marked his first return since publishing his headline-grabbing memoir Spare in January. The book contained stinging criticisms of Charles’s parenting and revelations about long-simmering rifts within the royal family. Harry also levied accusations against family members in an accompanying Netflix docuseries with Meghan.
His incendiary public comments over recent months have widened divisions in his relationships with Charles and brother Prince William. Royal watchers thus viewed his trip to support Charles as a small but meaningful gesture in thawing tensions between them
Although Harry met with the King at Clarence House, he did not see Prince William, who was focused on caring for wife Kate as she recovers from a recent surgery. Harry has had no contact with William for quite some time. Their once-close bond has deteriorated significantly since Harry stepped back from royal duties.
Harry’s visit to Charles came shortly after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak publicly conveyed his support for the monarch, wishing him a quick recovery. Other world leaders have also sent well-wishes to Charles since the cancer diagnosis was announced.
The King has the public backing of the UK government as he contends with health issues early in his reign. Charles has endured intense scrutiny since succeeding his mother Queen Elizabeth II on the throne last September.
Now contending with cancer, Charles faces additional challenges in the coming months. Yet his firstborn son William and other family members stand ready to take on more responsibilities as needed. The show of solidarity from across Britain suggests Charles will weather this storm with the country behind him.
As for Harry, he finds himself torn between his fractured royal relationships and new life in the United States. His brief visit with Charles likely provided some comfort to both, even if larger rifts persist.
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