Sometimes it takes some unfortunate news to bring a family together. A day after it was announced King Charles III was diagnosed with cancer, his estranged son Prince Harry is in London to see him — marking a rare return trip years after his dramatic exit from royal duties.
Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Charles, 75, had been diagnosed with cancer, after the monarch visited the hospital for an enlarged prostate treatment. The palace did not specify what kind of cancer he has nor what stage it was found in, but ruled out prostate cancer.
The news that Charles, who acceded to the throne in September 2022 after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and was coronated in May, has cancer shocked people across Britain and the world, prompting both sympathy and speculation about what it could mean for the future of the royal family.
A day after the announcement went public, Prince Harry flew in to London to see his father — a rare return visit for the exiled royal, raising the possibility that Charles’ diagnosis may bring the two closer together after years of tension.
Harry made a dramatic split from his family in 2020, when he and his wife Meghan Markle announced they would step back as senior members of the royal family and relocate to California.
The unprecedented exit caused a stir, which was compounded by a series of bombshell allegations and harsh criticisms the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made against The Firm, from their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey to Harry’s 2023 memoir Spare.
It is widely believed that there is a personal rift between Harry and Charles, as well as with Harry’s brother Prince William. Harry has joined his family on occasional return trips to London, such as for Charles’ coronation and the funerals of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, but it’s not clear what if anything these reunions have done to patch things up between the royals.
But as King Charles undergoes cancer treatments, it appears the father and son are putting their differences aside — and some royal watchers believe it could be a major step towards reconciliation.
“We haven’t seen him since the coronation, he is rushing over a reason,” royal historian Kate Williams told CNN. “This is a family – it is a business and family. It is a moment of reconciliation.”
“That is good,” a source close to the royal household told People Magazine. “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them.”
But Harry is currently on a solo trip, with Meghan and their children staying home in California. He arrived on Tuesday and two black SUVs escorted him from London’s Heathrow Airport to Clarence House, King Charles’ residence. It is not clear where Harry will be staying during his trip, as the Sussexes vacated their official residence last year.
Despite their estrangement, Harry was reportedly informed about Charles’ health before it became public.
A source told Fox News Digital that Harry and Charles discussed the king’s diagnosis. However, they also noted it was a brief visit, as Charles was seen leaving Clarence House shortly after with Queen Camilla.
And there are no apparent plans for Charles to meet with his brother during his London trip. Prince William, the next in line to the throne, recently dealt with a separate family health concern, as his wife Kate continues to recover from a recent abdominal surgery.
There are many unanswered questions about King Charles’ diagnosis, but UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC that the cancer was “caught early,” and the official statement projected 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,” the Buckingham Palace release reads.
We hope the royals are able to set aside their differences as King Charles continues to undergo cancer treatments. We continue to wish him a full and speedy recovery.
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