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Prince Harry Was Cheerful on Flight Back from U.K. After Visiting Dad King Charles, Says Source

The Duke of Sussex traveled to see his dad after Buckingham Palace announced the news about the King's health

<p>Joshua Sammer/Getty; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Germany in September 2023; King Charles steps out for church at Sandringham on February 11.

Joshua Sammer/Getty; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Germany in September 2023; King Charles steps out for church at Sandringham on February 11.

Prince Harry was said to be in good spirits after visiting with King Charles last week.

According to a source, the Duke of Sussex was cheerful and all smiles during his flight back to the U.S., engaging in lively conversations with staff and fellow passengers.

Prince Harry, 39, reportedly spent about a day in the U.K. last week. He flew to his home country to see his father after Buckingham Palace announced that the King, 75, was diagnosed with cancer. PEOPLE understands that King Charles personally informed his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as other family members, about the diagnosis before the public announcement.

The Duke of Sussex caught a flight from Los Angeles and arrived in London on Tuesday. He made the trip without his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children, son Prince Archie, 4, and daughter Princess Lilibet, 2. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated to Meghan's home state of California after they stepped back as working members of the royal family in 2020 and ultimately settled in Montecito.

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Prince Harry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in March 2023.
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Prince Harry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in March 2023.

Related: Prince Harry Had No Plans to Attend Super Bowl Despite NFL Honors Appearance

The father and son are believed to have had a brief private meeting at Clarence House on Tuesday before the King and Queen Camilla reportedly left London for Sandringham on Queen Elizabeth’s Accession Day. The reunion reportedly marked Prince Harry and King Charles’ first meeting since the coronation ceremony in May 2023, for which the Duke of Sussex also made a similarly quick solo trip to the U.K.

"That is good," a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story. “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them."

<p>HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images</p> Queen Camilla and King Charles leave Clarence House on February 6.

HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Camilla and King Charles leave Clarence House on February 6.

The Duke of Sussex was spotted at London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday and was back in California on Thursday, and he then made a surprise appearance in Las Vegas that evening. Prince Harry stepped out at the NFL Honors at Resorts World Theater to award the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward.

"Good evening, NFL," said the Duke of Sussex. "It's an honor to be with you all tonight." In signature style, Prince Harry cracked a joke about how Americans “stole rugby” from the English and “made it your own” through the evolution of football, before turning to honor the talent of NFL players, and Heyward, a defensive tackle, in particular.

"All you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable," Prince Harry said.

<p>Perry Knotts/Getty</p> Prince Harry presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award at the 13th Annual NFL Honors on February 8 in Las Vegas.

Perry Knotts/Getty

Prince Harry presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award at the 13th Annual NFL Honors on February 8 in Las Vegas.

Related: King Charles Attends Church Alongside Queen Camilla for the 1st Time Since Beginning Cancer Treatment

The following day, the Duke of Sussex received what his lawyer said was a "substantial" settlement against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), while the publishers will also pay around $500,000 for Harry’s legal fees.

In December, Prince Harry won over $180,000 after the presiding judge, Justice Fancourt, ruled that 15 of 33 articles at the center of the Duke of Sussex’s claim published by MGN “were the product of phone hacking of his mobile phone or the mobile phones of his associates, or the product of other unlawful information-gathering.”

On Friday, the publishing group agreed to settle the remaining parts of his claim against the newspaper company, which publishes The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People newspapers.

Outside the court, Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherbourne read a statement in which Harry said, “Our mission continues. I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us. It is the very reason why I started this, and why I will continue to see it through to the end.”

The Duke of Sussex has another busy week ahead, as he and Meghan are head north for a special Invictus Games countdown. Prince Harry and Meghan, 42, will travel to Canada for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025's One Year to Go celebrations, running from Wednesday to Friday.

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the cycling medal ceremony at the Invictus Games in Germany in September 2023.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the cycling medal ceremony at the Invictus Games in Germany in September 2023.

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Over their three-day visit, the couple will join members of the participating nations' Winter Training Camp, which provides an opportunity for members of the International Invictus Community, including team managers, coaches and competitors, to experience winter adaptive sports ahead of the Games next year.

Prince Harry, a former captain in the British Army, founded the international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014, and the next iteration will mark the tournament’s seventh cycle.

The Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will mark a double set of firsts. Next year's event will be the first winter edition of the competition through the introduction of winter sports and the first time the sports tournament has returned to a previous host country following the 2017 Games in Toronto, where Harry and Meghan famously made their debut as a couple.

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