LONDON: Charles III’s estranged son Prince Harry arrived in London on Tuesday, heading for his father’s side less than 24 hours after it was announced that the king had cancer.
Harry, who now lives in California with his US wife Meghan and their children, has been at war with his family since quitting royal life in 2020.
But despite recent family tensions, Harry travelled straight from London’s Heathrow airport to Charles’s Clarence House residence.
The UK’s Press Association reported that two black SUVs, which were seen leaving Heathrow Airport’s VIP Windsor Suite earlier, were pictured arriving at the royal residence at around 2:40 pm (1440 GMT).
They left around 50 minutes later, followed soon after by a car carrying a smiling Charles and Queen Camilla, the first time the king has been seen in public since his diagnosis was announced.
Charles then left by helicopter for his Sandringham residence in eastern England, with a helicopter seen leaving from behind Buckingham Palace around 10 minutes later.
Buckingham Palace has not specified the type of cancer afflicting the 75-year-old monarch – though it is understood not to be prostate cancer – and he will now step back from public-facing royal duties to complete his treatment.
Royal watchers said Charles’s ill health could be a catalyst for a rapprochement between father and son.
But they warned that healing the rift between Harry and his brother Prince William, heir to the throne, would be more difficult.
Despite Harry’s trans-Atlantic dash to visit his father, PA reported that it was understood that William had no plans to meet up with him.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told AFP there was “no doubt” Harry and Meghan’s public airing of their grievances had “caused a great deal of bitterness” within the royal family.