Prince Harry flew to London to avoid being seen for the first time since his father’s cancer diagnosis at the “glitzy Super Bowl festivities” in Las Vegas, royal observers have claimed.
The Duke of Sussex, 39, flew more than 5,000 miles from his home in California to London on Tuesday for what ended up being a 30-minute meeting with his father.
But he flew back to his Montecito home after just one day in the UK, after he is believed to have spent the night in a luxury hotel rather than a royal residence.
Royal commentator Robert Jobson previously told Mail+ that Prince Harry’s trip was neither planned nor “involuntary”, and critics are now questioning whether it was an attempt to save face by ensuring he was seen to have rushed to the King’s side. .
Harry appeared at an official event last night for the first time since his father’s diagnosis to give a joke-filled speech at the NFL Awards in Las Vegas.
Prince Harry returned to the United States to present an NFL award just a day after leaving the United Kingdom following a brief meeting with his cancer-stricken father, King Charles III, and gave a joke-filled speech.
Prince Harry flew to London on a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles on Tuesday, arriving at the royal residence at 2:42 p.m. before spending about 45 minutes with Charles.
After reuniting with his son, King Charles left Clarence House with Queen Camilla on Tuesday.
Questions are now being raised over whether his sudden rush to the UK was prompted by the knowledge that he would be seen “enjoying” the glitzy festivities at the Las Vegas event just 24 hours later.
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Jobson said that while Charles would have been moved by his “dear boy’s” gesture, it had actually caused “some concern” as the duke “took it upon himself” to fly “without permission.”
Harry was not expected to be seen again until he travels with Meghan to Canada next week for an Invictus Games event, but he surprised royal fans by appearing to present the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward, who collected the award, was equally surprised to see it, hugging the duke, before exclaiming, “Prince Harry, I’m surprised, that’s Prince Harry.”
The Duke gave a very British speech mocking the differences between rugby and American football, such as the fact that the NFL season lasts only 18 weeks and that players have a “break every 15 seconds”.
But there was no mention of his father, his trip to London or the rest of his family.
Prince Harry flew to London on a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles on Tuesday, arriving at Clarence House before spending about 45 minutes with Charles following the King’s surprise cancer revelation.
It has since been claimed that King Charles had been ready to depart Clarence House for Sandringham, where he will spend most of his time during treatment recovering, but was forced to wait after his son deleted his diary and took the first flight available from Los Angeles.
Prince Harry returns to LAX after a short trip to London to briefly see his father.
An animated Cameron Hayward of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for a portrait after winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year award with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
Robert Jobson said: “To put it bluntly, the king was not happy with what amounted to a fait accompli presented by an emotional but well-meaning son.”
He added: “Thanks to Harry’s intervention, Their Majesties were left hanging around Clarence House, their main home in London, while they waited for their errant youngest son to appear.”
‘It is surprising that Harry was not invited to stay at Clarence House or, indeed, any other royal residence. The decision to fly was so last-minute that he had to book a hotel room for the night.
“And if the Prince had expected to spend some ‘quality time’ at Sandringham House talking about the good old days, perhaps, or rebuilding the paternal bond, he would have been disappointed.”
He and Harry had a “brief meeting” before the King and Camilla were driven to Buckingham Palace, where a helicopter was waiting to take them back to their Norfolk retreat.
The duke is not believed to have seen his brother William or sister-in-law Kate Middleton, who is recovering from abdominal surgery and is on extended leave.
Royal experts have said this is a sign of how deep the rift between the brothers has become.
‘William has shown today that he has disowned Harry, doesn’t want to meet him and probably doesn’t even like him anymore. Harry is just not part of his life,” Jennie Bond said.
“That rift is so deep now, and this has been shown by the fact that Harry is here and they haven’t met, so deep that I really wonder if it can ever be repaired.”
Doctors discovered the King’s cancer during surgery to treat a benign enlargement of the prostate just over a week earlier, according to the Palace.
The type or stage of the cancer has not been revealed, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC it had been detected “early”.
The decision to reveal the diagnosis is a stark difference from monarchs of the past, who have always kept their health battles extremely private.
According to the Palace, the King hopes the announcement will encourage others to have their concerns reviewed by a medical professional.
Representatives for Prince Harry have been contacted for comment.