The Jury Is Out on Whether Prince Harry and King Charles Will Connect When Harry Is In the U.K. Next Week

Sources say the King’s “busy” schedule may get in the way.

King Charles and Prince Harry at a royal engagement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It has been confirmed that Prince Harry will be in the U.K. next week, set to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his Invictus Games at a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 8. (Harry is expected to give a reading.) Marie Claire reported as far back as March that Harry was planning to see his father, King Charles, while he was back home in his native country for the event. Does that still hold water, over a month on? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Father and son last saw one another in February, when Harry flew to see Charles—albeit briefly—at Clarence House within 24 hours of his public announcement on February 5 that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Tatler reports that “Amid other signs of warming relations between the two, onlookers are hoping that Prince Harry and the King will be able to spend some quality time together this week.” 

Prince Harry and King Charles in top hats

The question on everyone's mind: whether father and son will have time for a visit when Harry is in the U.K. next week.

(Image credit: Getty)

The outlet reports that a meeting between the two “hangs on the fact that both men are likely to be busy during Harry’s visit.” Tatler astutely points out that Harry is unlikely to leave his home base of California before Tuesday, May 7, as the day prior, May 6, is his son Prince Archie’s fifth birthday, and Harry had to miss at least part of Archie’s fourth birthday last year because Charles’ Coronation fell on the same day—and was, of course, in the U.K.

On Wednesday, May 8, the King will have his weekly audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and could attend the first Buckingham Palace garden party of the season that same day. The Telegraph reports that the King also has various appointments and engagements scheduled for the rest of the week, now that he has returned to public-facing duties. 

King Charles and Prince Harry look at one another and laugh

Now that the King has resumed public-facing royal engagements, his schedule is busier, but he reportedly still wants to see Harry while he's in London.

(Image credit: Getty)

Page Six takes a more pessimistic (or, perhaps, realistic) approach, with a headline claiming that the King is too “busy” to meet with Harry while his younger son is in London. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said during an appearance on GB News (and per The Mirror) that “I do think that King Charles will make an effort to see his son,” she said. “He’ll want to see him.” She added “They’ll both be in London at the same time, I believe, because it’s the Prime Minister’s meeting. So there is no real reason why Harry shouldn’t see his father.”

King Charles, Prince Harry walking

Harry last saw Charles in February, within a day of Charles' announcement he had been diagnosed with cancer.

(Image credit: Getty)

As for meeting up with his brother, Prince William? Seward said of the possibility “I don’t think we’re going to see William and Harry together.” Tatler added “It is understood that relations between the brothers remain frosty,” but adds “In spite of the continuing difficulties with William, there have definitely been signs of warming between Prince Harry and the King. Royal watchers hoping for a return to some semblance of normality in the core royal family will hope to see a meeting between the two this week—particularly as the King returns to his public duties and his energy levels seem to be growing.”

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

Harry will be in London to attend a 10-year anniversary celebration of his Invictus Games; Meghan won't be joining him for the occasion, but will meet up with him in Nigeria shortly after for a visit there.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in February, Harry himself said on Good Morning America: “The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.” And if for whatever reason this visit doesn’t work out, Charles is reportedly keen to have Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Archie, and Princess Lilibet out to Balmoral this summer, where the royal family traditionally goes for their annual summer holiday.

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.