Prince Harry and Prince William are expected to visit the UK soon after learning of King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis. According to a source close to the Duke of Sussex, he plans to fly to Britain to see his father in the coming days after Buckingham Palace announced that the king had begun treatment. Pictures emerged of two cars with blacked-out windows at Los Angeles International Airport, which The Sun and the Daily Mail reported were transporting the prince to his flight back to Britain, though this has not been confirmed.
Harry’s arrival in the United Kingdom always raises hopes that the family will reconcile after years of transatlantic strife, but this trip is especially significant. While Charles is optimistic about his diagnosis, he—and his family—could be forgiven for being reminded of his mortality.
That must inevitably evoke memories for Harry and Prince William of the moment Charles informed them that their mother, Princess Diana, had died in a car crash in 1997. Harry clearly wasted no time in deciding to visit Britain, as a source revealed the news within 25 minutes of the palace announcement. That suggests the prince is taking the situation seriously and knows where he needs to be during a difficult time for his family.
Hoda Kotb asked Harry on Today in April 2022 if he missed his father and brother, and he swerved the question, stating that his focus was on the Invictus Games, which were taking place in the Netherlands at the time. He added that when he leaves here, he returns, and my priority is my family, whom I greatly miss. Of course, I do. Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet will be separated from their father for an extended period of time as he returns to his birth country.
Harry, on the other hand, does not have a permanent residence because he moved out of Frogmore Cottage, where Archie was born, last year, a decision announced shortly after the release of his controversial autobiography Spare. This is just one of the numerous historical flashpoints that Harry will have to put aside if a reconciliation is to occur.
The other issue to navigate is William, who has had deeply personal information published by Spare, including Harry’s account of a physical altercation in which the older brother pushed the younger brother to the floor. Kate Middleton was also portrayed as difficult in the lead-up to Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and the duke claimed Princess Charlotte, now 8, cried because her flower girl dress was too baggy.
While a thawing of relations between Harry and Charles is possible at this time, the true test will be whether Harry and William see each other at all, and if so, whether they can put their differences aside.