It Was Queen Camilla Who Kept King Charles’ Visit with Prince Harry So Short, Royal Expert Says

Despite flying approximately 11,000 miles roundtrip, Harry got about 30 minutes with his father, who is battling cancer.

Prince Harry Camilla
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After not having a substantial face-to-face interaction in 16 months with King Charles, on Monday—not long after news broke that the King has been diagnosed with cancer—Prince Harry left LAX and took an overnight flight to London’s Heathrow, where he landed Tuesday afternoon. Charles and Harry only got about 30 minutes together at the King's London home, Clarence House, before Charles and Queen Camilla departed via helicopter for Sandringham; Harry flew out the next day for the U.S., his home since 2020.

Prince Harry kisses King Charles on the cheek

Harry got on the first flight he could to see his father, who was recently diagnosed with cancer

(Image credit: Getty)

Originally, it was believed that the short visit—for which Harry flew approximately 11,000 miles—was because Charles was tired from outpatient cancer treatment the day prior. But now a royal expert is insinuating something different—that Camilla is the reason for the short visit.

“The Queen was with the King,” royal expert Robert Jobson said, per The Sun. “Let’s be honest—he [Harry] wasn’t too complimentary about Queen Camilla in his book, Spare. He wasn’t very complimentary about her on Netflix. They don’t get on.” 

Queen Consort Camilla

Harry has been rather critical of his stepmother Camilla in various offerings, especially his memoir, "Spare"

(Image credit: Getty)

Jobson added “Second, there’s not been a lot of contact. That brings its own level of complexity and drama which he [the King] doesn’t need at the moment.”

As previously reported, Harry’s arrival delayed Charles and Camilla’s helicopter flight to Sandringham, where Charles is recuperating following Monday’s treatment. “The royals do stick to a pretty military clock,” Jobson said. “You have to get the helicopter pilot there, all these things. So his plans had to be changed. The one thing the King doesn’t like is changing his plans. He gave him long enough for a kiss and a hug and wished him all the best.”

Prince Harry and King Charles walking together

Charles and Harry, while still a loving father and son, have had tension over the years

(Image credit: Getty)

Many felt that Harry’s immediate visit—less than 24 hours after news broke of Charles’ cancer—indicated the severity of Charles' diagnosis. “This is one of the reasons Charles probably didn’t want all the drama,” Jobson said. “The fact of Harry flying over does give the suggestion that his condition may be a lot worse than it actually may well be. I think a lot of people will be sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, well, it must be bad, because he’s on the plane.’”

Charles and Camilla are now at Sandringham, and Harry surprised audiences as he presented an award last night in Las Vegas at the 2024 NFL Honors.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.