The prince has left the building.
Prince Harry is on his way back to his California home after spending less than 24 hours in London following the shock cancer diagnosis of his father, King Charles III.
Buckingham Palace announced Monday that the monarch will undergo treatment for an unspecified form of cancer, and Harry, who has been estranged from the royal family since he and wife Meghan Markle resigned their roles as working royals in 2020 and moved to the United States, hopped on a plane for a visit with his father. Harry arrived at Clarence House, the king’s London residence, Tuesday. Harry, along with other members of the family, were told the news privately before the palace issued its public-facing statement.
It would appear that Harry took that long flight for an extremely short trip, as he was spotted at Heathrow Airport Wednesday, just about 25 hours after his arrival in his native England, The Sun reported. He reportedly spent about 45 minutes with his dad, and, according to the paper, opted to stay in a hotel Tuesday evening rather than a royal residence.
This is the first time Harry and Charles have physically been in the same space since Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation in May 2023. On that trip, Harry watched his father be ceremonially crowned as king, but did not personally meet with him or any other members of the royal family (including big brother Prince William), and left the country after just 28 hours.
Harry didn’t personally meet with William on this latest trip, either. William, the next in line for the British throne, has returned to lightened royal duties this week. Not only is his father ailing (the cancer was discovered while the king was undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate, though, Vanity Fair has confirmed through sources, the cancer is not in his prostate), William’s wife, Kate Middleton, underwent a “planned abdominal surgery” with a lengthy recovery time in January. Her calendar of royal duties and public appearances has been wiped clean until Easter to give her time to recover, and William also scaled back to spend time with her and their three children.
Meanwhile, Queen Camilla and Princess Anne have been doing heavy lifting on public engagements representing the crown lately, with several other senior royals taken off the calendar.
An unnamed source told People that Harry’s reunion with Charles, however brief, is a promising sign for future fence-mending within the royal family.
“That is good,” the source said. “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them.”
Harry and Markle will head to Canada next week for an event marking one year until the Invictus Games return to the country, celebrating the competition Harry founded to honor injured active military personnel, veterans, and their families.