Royal experts were taken aback by how short Prince Harry’s visit to the UK was, after he met with King Charles for less than an hour. A royal author has claimed that Prince Harry’s “uninvited” trip to London on Tuesday may have left King Charles “kicking his heels” as he waited for him to arrive at Clarence House before he could travel to Sandringham. The Prince touched down at Heathrow around lunchtime on Tuesday and he was driven straight to see his father, having left LA as soon as possible when he heard that the King had been diagnosed with cancer.
However, the meeting lasted less than 45 minutes as His Majesty had already planned to go and unwind at Sandringham, with Harry having to check into a hotel for the night as there was nowhere else for him to stay. Royal expert Robert Jobson wrote in the Daily Mail that Charles may have been “touched” that his estranged son flew 5,500 miles to see him, but Harry ultimately “caused some disquiet by ‘taking it upon himself’ to fly over unbidden and at such short notice”.
The meeting has fuelled hope that the feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm may soon be at an end, although it is not known if Meghan Markle and the children will come back to the UK. But, according to Mr Jobson, what may have been intended as a well-meaning gesture may not have had the desired effect of patching things up between father and son. He said: “Put bluntly, the King was unhappy about what amounted to a fait accompli served up by an emotional but well-meaning son.
“Charles just needs peace and quiet right now and had planned to fly off to the tranquillity of Norfolk with his wife, the Queen, much earlier on Tuesday. “Yet thanks to Harry’s intervention, their Majesties were left kicking their heels at Clarence House, their main London home, while they waited for the errant younger son to appear.” He also pointed out that Harry was forced to stay at a hotel due to a lack of invite to stay at any other royal residence, and his last-minute visit meant that plans for the King had already been made.
Harry was one of a handful of close family members who was informed by the King personally about his cancer diagnosis, before the statement from Buckingham Palace was released on Monday morning. While the King may be open to a reconciliation with his youngest son, Prince William may be harder to win over following Harry’s portrayal of him and Princess Kate in Spare.
A source close to the Duke of Sussex has said that he would have been open to meeting with William “if the opportunity were to arise”, however they did not see each other while he was in the UK. The Prince of Wales returned to royal duties on Wednesday after taking time off to care for his family while Kate recuperates after undergoing abdominal surgery.