Prince Harry wasted no time in hopping on a plane from Los Angeles to London, touching down today to see his father, King Charles, amidst the monarch’s shocking cancer diagnosis. Buckingham Palace revealed the diagnosis yesterday, the same day that Charles began outpatient treatment; the cancer was found during the King’s corrective procedure for an enlarged prostate on January 26, though the cancer is not of the prostate. The specific type of cancer and its stage are heretofore unknown to the public.
Harry flew alone, sans wife Meghan Markle and children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. Charles personally contacted both of his sons, Harry and Prince William, to tell them of his diagnosis before it was made public, and The Daily Mail reports that Harry “immediately decided to come to the U.K. to be by his father’s side,” the outlet reports. “Experts have claimed that Harry’s dash to Britain ‘indicates the seriousness’ of the King’s condition.”
The office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said of the matter that “The Duke did speak with his father about his diagnosis. He will be traveling to the U.K. to see His Majesty in the coming days.”
William is also said to be in close contact with his father, but is simultaneously tending to his wife, Princess Kate, as she recovers from abdominal surgery three weeks ago today.
Harry touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport Tuesday afternoon U.K. time, Hello reports, and left LAX not long after the King’s diagnosis became public yesterday afternoon U.S. time. Hello reports that Meghan stayed behind in Montecito, California with the kids because of their schooling.
It is not breaking news that tensions have run high between Harry and the rest of the royal family, specifically Charles and William, in the years of late. That said, family is family, and if any good can come from this unwelcome announcement, maybe it can be total reconciliation between father and son and brother and brother, a silver lining in the cloud, if you will.
"Prince Harry coming over is a huge moment," said Hello royal editor Emily Nash. "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. It's about a family coming together during a difficult time, just as any other family would."
This is Harry's first visit to his home country since September, and he is expected to immediately be en route to Charles' London home, Clarence House, to visit his father.
"Charles adores Harry," said Kristina Kyriacou, the King's former press secretary, per The Daily Mail. "He didn't want any of this estrangement. If out of bad news, some good news comes and Harry and the King and the Queen [Camilla] and his brother are reunited—how wonderful."