Inside Prince Harry and King Charles’ emotional 45-minute reunion

Just hours after King Charles announced his cancer diagnosis to the world last Monday, his youngest son Prince Harry rushed to catch a flight to the UK to see the monarch

The Duke of Sussex arrived at Heathrow the following morning and was driven straight to Clarence House, where he stayed for 45 minutes, spending time with his father, who had delayed his own journey to Sandringham to see his younger son. 

King Charles and Prince Harry in suit© Samir Hussein
Prince Harry flew to London to see his dad King Charles last week

His wife, Meghan Markle, remained at the couple’s home in Montecito, California with their children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two. 

Neither Buckingham Palace nor sources from the Sussexes’ Archewell organisation would comment on the meeting. However, one well-placed source told HELLO! that despite the brevity of their reunion, the King would have been “enormously touched” and “found time in the middle of a busy, planned day to see Harry as soon as he could”. 

The short reunion was the first meaningful time father and son had spent together since the death of Elizabeth II in September 2022. Although Harry attended his father’s coronation last May, the two are thought to have only had limited contact since then amid the fallout around the Duke’s controversial memoir Spare.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla waving outside church © Getty
King Charles and Queen Camilla attended the Sunday service this weekend

“The King is not in a position to suddenly throw the diary up in the air and rearrange everything,” Robert Hardman, the author of Charles III: New King. New Court. The Inside Story, told HELLO!. 

“He doesn’t want that anyway. He’s trying to maintain as normal a schedule as possible. But it’s lovely for Harry to have come over.” 

A timeline of King Charles’ recent health journey

Wednesday 17th January – Buckingham Palace announces the King, 75, is to have treatment for a benign enlarged prostate and will be admitted to hospital in a few days. 

Thursday 25th January – The King carried out behind-the-scenes official duties at Sandringham House. 

The King arrives back in London from Norfolk ready for his treatment.

Friday 26th January – The King is admitted to the London Clinic for treatment for an enlarged prostate and also visits Princess Kate, who is recovering in the same hospital. 

Monday 29th January – The King is discharged from hospital and waves at well-wishers. 

Wednesday 31st January – Camilla says the King is “getting on, doing his best” as she opened a Maggie’s cancer support centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

Sunday 4th February – The King and Queen attend church in Sandringham, with Charles waving at well-wishers. 

Monday 5th February – At 6pm, Buckingham Palace announces the King has a form of cancer – but not prostate cancer – and has started treatment as an outpatient. 

He will not carry out public-facing duties, but will carry on with behind-the-scenes state business and official papers.

Prince Harry wasn’t the only family member to travel to see His Majesty on Tuesday. Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, were pictured going to see Charles following his diagnosis being made public. 

Close-up of William, Charles and Harry at Invictus Games 2014© Getty
Charles’ relationships with his sons have gone through peaks and troughs

Harry’s decision to fly home appears to have been a wise one but may also indicate the seriousness of King Charles’ diagnosis.

HELLO!‘s Royal Editor Emily Nash explained: “Prince Harry coming over is a huge moment. The King’s diagnosis will have concerned the whole family, but especially his sons and it’s only natural that Harry will want to spend time with him after so long apart.  

King Charles and Queen Camilla wave© Getty
King Charles and Queen Camilla wave as they leave by car from Clarence House on Tuesday

“It’s about a family coming together during a difficult time, just as any other family would.” 

Despite the diagnosis, Buckingham Palace confirmed that King Charles will continue to “undertake state business and official paperwork as usual”, this includes holding Privy Council meetings and weekly audiences with the Prime Minister. 

The Prince of Wales will take on additional responsibilities amid his father’s cancer diagnosis. It’s believed that William will take on extra duties relating to Charles’ public engagements and not to his constitutional role.

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