It often takes unfortunate news to bring a family together. Following the announcement of King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis, his estranged son, Prince Harry, has made a rare trip back to London to be by his father’s side. This visit comes years after Harry’s dramatic exit from royal duties.
The Buckingham Palace revealed yesterday that 75-year-old Charles had been diagnosed with cancer after seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate. While the type and stage of cancer have not been disclosed, prostate cancer has been ruled out.
The news of Charles’ diagnosis has shocked individuals across Britain and the world, leading to both sympathy and speculation about the future of the royal family. Prince Harry’s decision to fly to London a day after the announcement raises the possibility of a closer bond between him and his father, after years of tension.
In 2020, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle made a dramatic split from the royal family, choosing to step back as senior members and relocate to California. This unprecedented move caused quite a stir, amplified by a series of bombshell allegations and harsh criticisms made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex against the royal institution.
Though occasional return trips to London for events such as Charles’ coronation and the funerals of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have taken place, it remains unclear if these reunions have repaired the strained relationships between the royals.
Now, as King Charles undergoes cancer treatments, it seems that father and son are putting their differences aside. Some royal watchers believe this could be a major step towards reconciliation. Royal historian Kate Williams shared her thoughts, stating, “This is a family – it is a business and family. It is a moment of reconciliation.” A source close to the royal household also expressed positivity, saying, “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them.”
In his current solo trip, Harry arrived on Tuesday, leaving Meghan and their children in California. Two black SUVs escorted him from London’s Heathrow Airport to Clarence House, King Charles’ residence. Where Harry will be staying during his visit remains unknown, as their official residence was vacated by the Sussexes last year.
Despite their estrangement, Harry was reportedly informed about Charles’ health before it became public. According to a source, Harry and Charles discussed the diagnosis. However, the visit was brief, as Charles was seen leaving Clarence House shortly after with Queen Camilla. As for Charles’ brother, Prince William, there are no apparent plans for them to meet during this trip. Prince William recently dealt with a separate family health concern as his wife Kate recovers from abdominal surgery.
While there are many unanswered questions regarding King Charles’ diagnosis, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that the cancer was caught early. The official statement from Buckingham Palace conveys optimism: “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.”
As King Charles continues his cancer treatments, we hope that the royal family can set aside their differences. Our thoughts are with them, and we wish King Charles a full and speedy recovery.
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