Prince Harry flew in to London from the US on Tuesday after news broke of King Charles’ cancer the day prior, having a 30-minute meeting with his father at Clarence House
The King’s first meeting with Prince Harry in nine months has been dubbed a “cause for optimism” as insiders describe new hopes at reconciliation.
The father and son had a ’30 minute meeting’ at Clarence House on Tuesday after Harry’s dash across The Pond following news of his cancer diagnosis. The Prince has not been seen to be with his family since the Coronation in May, when he made a whistle stop for the ceremony before flying home to California.
The 39-year-old spoke with his father on the phone after news broke on Monday that doctors had spotted early signs of cancer. He was spotted flying in to London on Tuesday, making a beeline for the King’s residency.
Now Palace insiders have told of their fresh hopes the latest development could be the first stepping healing a family rift after Harry’s relationship with his father and brother turned sour in the wake of he and Meghan’s bombshell accusations. Although officials gave no details on the content of their private reunion, one well-placed source told the Express: “I’d have thought that was cause for optimism.”
Despite this, it’s understood Harry’s trip to the UK has not seen Prince William reach out an olive branch. William currently has his hands full, returning to public duties after the Princess of Wales underwent abdominal surgery last month. The 42-year-old is recovering in Windsor as William cares for their children and prepares to deputise for his father.
Sources close to the family claim that it may be a case of time healing the family divisions, and that it may take longer than hopes for differences to be settled. The King and Harry’s lunch meeting followed news in November that Harry had extended “an olive branch” with a phone call to his father on his 75th birthday.
And despite his latest cancer scare, the exact form and stage of which Buckingham Palace has not revealed, the King was seen in public for the first time since the news broke later on Tuesday afternoon. Looking happy and relaxed, he smiled and waved to the public as he and Queen Camilla were driven the few hundred yards from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, before taking a helicopter to spend time at their Norfolk estate, Sandringham.
Royal sources said the King was “upbeat” and “on his usual good form” but frustrated that his illness is causing disruption to his family, who may have to undertake more engagements on his behalf while he is undergoing treatment. One insider said: “If you didn’t know there was something wrong with him, you wouldn’t know there was something wrong with him.”
Another said: “You’ve seen him smiling and waving this afternoon. He is very positive.” The Palace has praised doctors for their “swift intervention” after spotting the disease while the King had a corrective procedure on an enlarged prostate at the London Clinic on Friday.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC the cancer had been spotted “early” providing the best possible chance. He said everyone would be hoping the King “gets the treatment that he needs and makes a full recovery”, adding: “That’s what we’re all hoping and praying for, and I’m of course in regular contact with him and will continue to communicate with him as normal.”
Asked what it meant for the day-to-day running of the country, Mr Sunak said: “We’ll crack on with everything. He’ll just be in our thoughts and our prayers, many families around the country listening to this will have been touched by the same thing and they know what it means to everyone,” he said.
“So we’ll just be willing him on and hopefully we get through this as quickly as possible.” The King has postponed planned public-facing engagements for the time being, but will be continuing with official duties and state business behind the scenes.