Prince Harry was heading back to Los Angeles Wednesday, meaning he will have taken a 11,000 mile round trip to spend just half an hour with his tired father King Charles and sleep in a hotel, in what some sources said looked like a “partial snub.”
However, other voices said that for Harry to be given a meeting with the king at all at such short notice was an encouraging sign that bridges were being built, and palace insiders have briefed U.K. media that Charles, presently undergoing treatment for cancer, appreciated his son’s gesture.
One former courtier told The Daily Beast: “He did get to meet the king which is something, but they hardly rolled out the red carpet for him. If circumstances were different, one might have expected him to be offered a bed either at Clarence House [the king’s London home] or at Sandringham. I am sure the king was delighted to see him but I think what you are seeing is that great care being taken to insulate the king and queen from Harry.”
It is thought the king met Harry alone at Clarence House yesterday and was not joined by Queen Camilla, who was described by Harry in his memoir Spare as willing to “sacrifice” him and leave “bodies on the street” in her quest to improve her standing in the public eye and be named queen.
A friend of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s told The Daily Beast: “I’m not surprised he was only given one meeting. There was never any prospect he was going to meet William. It’s a partial snub because he has clearly been told there is nothing to stop him being on his way.”
Harry’s rapid in-and-out trip recalled a similar approach he took at the Coronation last year. Harry flew into London on a ten-hour flight on Tuesday, before heading straight to Clarence House where he spent around 30 minutes with Charles, before the King and Camilla flew by helicopter to Sandringham in Norfolk.
Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor for the Sun and a biographer of Harry, told The Daily Beast: “It may look to outsiders fairly cold to see your son for only half an hour if they have flown from L.A. to London for the meeting, but I’m sure Harry wouldn’t have expected anything more given his father is poorly. In fact, for Charles to see Harry at all at such short notice, despite having just had cancer treatment, could be read as an encouraging sign that the king still wants to rebuild the relationship with him.”