Prince Harry has made an unexpected and emotional return to the UK after learning that his father, King Charles III, has been diagnosed with cancer.
Buckingham Palace confirmed this week that the 75-year-old monarch has cancer and is undergoing treatment, just months into his reign.
As soon as he received the difficult news directly from his father, Harry dropped everything and booked a flight back to Britain.
Now, many are hoping this family trauma could help lead to healed rifts and reconciliations within the royal family after years of tensions.
Prince Harry arrives in the UK
According to reports, Prince Harry flew into London’s Heathrow Airport on Tuesday afternoon, February 6th.
Photographs show the Duke of Sussex leaving the airport in a black SUV with a police escort, as part of a larger royal motorcade.
The 39-year-old made the transatlantic trip alone, without his wife Meghan Markle, or their two young children.
Before boarding his flight to Los Angeles, Harry had been spotted arriving at a private airport terminal by car.
A source close to the prince confirmed he spoke directly with King Charles recently about the cancer diagnosis and would be “traveling to the UK to see His Majesty in the coming days.”
It remains unclear precisely where Harry will stay during this unexpected visit home, given that he and Meghan lost access to their UK residence, Frogmore Cottage, last year.
As non-working royals, they now reportedly require a formal invite to lodge in any protected royal property.
Hope for reconciliation
Harry’s decision to rush to his father’s side has sparked hopes this family health crisis could help thaw frosty relations within the monarchy.
Ever since stepping down as senior royals in 2020, Harry and Meghan have levied damaging allegations against the royal family, including bombshell claims of racism.
Harry also released a scathing memoir, further deteriorating ties.
King Charles announced his cancer diagnosis on February 5th, saying doctors identified the disease while treating him for a separate prostate issue.
He has already begun treatment and sounds optimistic, pledging to continue his royal duties as much as possible.
With his son flying to offer support, the new monarch can perhaps now also look forward to healing old wounds.
This visit to her father will be the first time the two have had the opportunity to speak face-to-face in private since the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.