Prince Harry is back in California after spending just 28 hours and 42 minutes in the UK to witness the coronation of his father, King Charles, on Saturday.
After the ceremony, he slipped out of Westminster Abbey – accompanied by a Metropolitan Police escort and four outriders – with only a brief goodbye and headed straight for Heathrow Airport.
He was already on a plane to California before his father and stepmother, the newly crowned queen, had finished taking their official portraits.
Harry’s British Airways flight from Heathrow direct to Los Angeles landed just before 6:30pm local time.
The idea was that he would be back in time for his four-year-old son Archie’s fourth birthday party.
Prince Harry was back in California after spending just 28 hours and 42 minutes in the UK to witness the coronation of his father, King Charles, on Saturday. His flight is seen arriving
Prince Harry was picked up in a black SUV and taken to his home in Montecito
Harry’s security drove his Range Rover to the highly exclusive Private Suites hanger at LAX in an hour and a half
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was pictured at London Heathrow, beaming as he hurried to board the plane while holding his phone and some documents.
Prince Harry sported a Hollywood-worthy smile at Heathrow today as he prepared to fly back to California after an awkward appearance at his father’s coronation
But despite getting a chauffeured ride from the airport in a black Range Rover SUV, it’s doubtful he’d have made it back to his wife and kids long before the kids go to bed.
Montecito, California, where the family lives, is 100 miles from Los Angeles and a good two hours away, even at the best of times given the unpredictability of LA traffic.
For months he had kept the British public – not to mention his own family – in suspense with a cat-and-mouse guessing game about his presence.
And in the end it was really a blink of an eye, otherwise you miss the moment.
During the main event, he was hidden from view by Princess Anne’s feathered plume from the cameras for most of the ceremony.
After it was all over, he headed straight for the airport and was pictured smiling broadly as he arrived at Heathrow’s Windsor suite. before his flight, still in morning suit and with his medals.
Harry was taken off the plane to his personal Range Rover waiting for him at LAX
The prince was picked up from the Private Suites area of the airport
Harry then faced a nearly two-hour drive north back to Montecito, where he now lives
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex was previously seen arriving at the Windsor Suite in a police convoy before departing on a British Airways flight from LHR to LAX
Harry was long expected to return to his wife Meghan Markle in Montecito soon so they could celebrate the birthday of their son Archie, who turned four on Saturday.
Harry, 38, was not expected to play any part in the coronation celebrations apart from his brief appearance at Westminster Abbey.
Sources tell the Daily Mail that there were no plans for him to join the procession, take part in the private family lunch or even appear in any of the official or unofficial photos.
The prince was not seen once after it was said he flew in on a scheduled American Airlines flight to Heathrow on Friday morning while the rest of the family carried out multiple ‘Eve of Coronation’ duties in London.
On Saturday morning, he left Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor home he and Meghan once shared, almost certainly for the last time after his father’s decision to evict them, just before 9:30 a.m. in a BMW with blacked-out windows.
He entered Westminster Abbey along with his non-working royal cousins - Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Lurking at the back of the group, Harry could be seen talking to Beatrice and her husband, Edo Mapelli Mozzi.
The moment the Duke of Sussex, 38, told Jack Brooksbank he was ‘going away’ as they took their seats in Westminster Abbey, before uttering the words ‘airport’, according to a professional lip reader
Prince Harry watches his brother Prince William in the front row at the coronation of their father King Charles III at Westminster Abbey
Harry makes an uneasy face as he takes his seat in Westminster Abbey
Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, now probably Harry’s closest relatives, turned and smiled.
Like the other non-working royals, Harry dressed in a morning suit with medals and the KCVO – Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order – given to him by Queen Elizabeth around his neck.
But he was forced, somewhat clumsily, to walk alone through the ship in full view of the congregation.
The prince turned twice, once to the right and then to the left and smiled at someone he recognized.
But he quietly took a seat three rows from the front in the South Lantern.
The front row was reserved for the Prince of Wales – his brother, wife and their children, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
As the historic ceremony drew to a close, Harry took off through the Great West Door and, with the same police outriders accompanying him, headed straight back to Heathrow.
11 hours and 5,440 miles later, and a world away from the London festivities, he was back in the Golden State, ready to get back to his California dreamin’.
Prince Harry walks alone down the aisle at Westminster Abbey
Prince Harry leaves Westminster Abbey after King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey
Harry walks alone as he leaves Westminster Abbey after the coronation
Harry is all smiles as he leaves for King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey