The first private, face-to-face meeting between King Charles and Prince Harry since the death of Queen Elizabeth took place earlier this week, but is thought to have lasted little more than half an hour.
It’s been reported that Harry – estranged from the Royal Family since his highly-publicized move to the US – jumped on a flight to return to his homeland soon after learning of his father’s cancer diagnosis.
Whilst the pair haven’t seen eye-to-eye in recent times, Harry is said to have gone to see Charles immediately after landing in London on Tuesday. Just what they talked about will likely never reach the public’s ears, though a detail relating to why their meeting was so brief has… and it’s a heartbreaking one.
Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday, February 5 that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer less than a year and a half after the death of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.
The Palace did not specify what cancer Charles has, nor what stage it was discovered. The diagnosis was disclosed after the monarch underwent a routine procedure for an enlarged prostate, however according to the BBC it is not prostate cancer.
“During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” the statement from Buckingham Palace read.
The statement added that Charles would postpone public duties for treatment, but projected optimism about his prognosis.
“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”
“The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”
The news would obviously come as a blow at any time, but perhaps even more so now after Kate Middleton’s recent spell in hospital. It’s already been made clear that Prince William will be focusing much of his strength and energy on helping his wife to recover – while also doing his best to deliver on his royal duties – meaning that word of his father’s cancer complicates things dramatically.
Yet perhaps a maelstrom of unfortunate events such as this one could provide the perfect opportunity for Prince Harry to rebuild some of the bridges burned by he and Meghan Markle’s condemnation of the Royal Family over the past few years.
In any case, OK! Magazine report that Harry flew across the Atlantic soon after learning of his father’s diagnosis, before heading straight to Clarence House for a meeting.
Sources also say that King Charles made a “significant” decision to delay his own travel plans after learning of Harry’s, though the meeting between father and son ended up being less than an hour in duration.
Now, Roya Nikkah, Royal Editor for the Sunday Times, has revealed that the reason the pair’s meeting was so brief was because King Charles was exhausted after having started treatment the day before.
She did, however, add that a second meeting between Charles and Harry could come to fruition.
That said, royal fans hoping for a reunion between Harry and his older brother William look set to be disappointed.
Reports suggest that William has no intention of seeing Harry while he is in England, though a source told The Times that Harry would be open to it.
“The Duke’s primary reason to travel to the UK is to visit his father. If the opportunity were to arise to see the Prince of Wales then the Duke would have gladly accepted it,” the source said.
We’re wishing King Charles all the very best in his ongoing treatment.