While there’s “no chance” that King Charles III will meet with Prince Harry in London for “peace talks” next month, he may see his estranged, California-based son become the focus of media attention in the U.K. on the first anniversary of his mother’s death.
Harry will be the star speaker at a high-profile public engagement in London on Sept. 7, the eve of the anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. Harry will deliver a speech at the WellChild Awards that Thursday night, then fly off to Dusseldorf, Germany for the opening of the Invictus Games on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Harry’s engagement at the WellChild Awards means he will likely be in the UK for the Sept. 8 anniversary of his grandmother’s death, the Telegraph said. Meanwhile, it was previously reported that Charles and Queen Camilla won’t make a public appearance on the somber anniversary, instead spending the day “in quiet reflection” at Balmoral Castle, where they have been on vacation, the Daily Beast reported. Prince William and Princess Catherine have yet to confirm their plans for that day, which “raises the uncomfortable possibility that Harry could become the focal point of media coverage of the late queen’s death,” the Daily Beast also said.
Prince William, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after escorting the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace for her lying in state, on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Emilio Morenatti – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
However, observers of royal family strife won’t have the opportunity to see both Harry and his equally famous wife, Meghan Markle, potentially upstage the royal family in London on Sept. 8. That’s because Meghan won’t be accompanying her husband to London for the WellChild Awards, according to The Telegraph. She’ll instead fly straight to Germany from their home in Montecito a few days later.
Nonetheless, Harry’s presence at the WellChild Awards next month is a reminder of the royal family drama that erupted last year when the queen died. Both Harry and Meghan were in London to attend the awards ceremony for WellChild, a U.K. nonprofit for which the Duke of Sussex has a patron for a number of years.
The Sussexes cancelled their attendance at the gala when they learned that the queen was on her deathbed in Balmoral. Harry raced to Scotland in a vain effort to see his grandmother one last time.
Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Princess Beatrice observe the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is transferred from the gun carriage to the hearse at Wellington Arch following the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Stenning – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Sussexes also remained in the U.K. another 10 days to attend the queen’s funeral, but reports began to emerge that Charles had asked Harry to keep Meghan away from the queen’s deathbed and from Balmoral. The Sussexes also made an uncomfortable appearance with William and Kate outside Windsor Castle two days after the queen’s death, and there was more reported confusion and turmoil over their seating at the queen’s funeral, whether Harry could wear a military uniform to funeral events, as well as reports that they were “uninvited” to a state reception at Buckingham Palace on the eve of the funeral.
Given all the ongoing strife between the Sussexes and the royal family, it’s probably not surprising that Harry won’t see his relatives while he is in the U.K. The Telegraph confirmed a report in the Daily Beast earlier this week that Harry won’t be sitting down with his father on this U.K. trip in an effort to heal all the bad feelings between them.
Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace dismissed a report that Charles would reschedule an official visit to France so that he’d be available in London to have some private, in-person time with Harry.
OK! magazine said Charles hoped to meet Harry in London on Sept. 17, as a way to begin the process of mending fences. According to the OK! report, Harry would stop in the U.K. after the Invictus Games in Germany. But as the Daily Beast reported, palace insiders scoffed at the idea that the king would reshuffle his schedule around an important state visit for such a meeting, even if they say he’s always open to the idea of reconciling with his second son.
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Another roadblock to such a meeting is Prince William, Daily Beast royal correspondent Tom Sykes reported. Even if Charles was open to one day engaging in “peace talks” with Harry, there’s “no chance” William would agree to “a tête-à-tête.”
A friend of William’s told the Daily Beast: “Charles won’t be seeing Harry and nor will William. No chance. He feels utterly betrayed by what Harry wrote about him in the book and said about him on Netflix.”
Following the queen’s death, Harry and Meghan went public with a number of criticisms of the royal family in Harry’s memoir “Spare” and in their six-part Netflix series. Harry also shared details of an emotional private meeting he had with his father and brother in the opening chapter of “Spare.” In that chapter, Harry referred to William as his “arch-nemesis” and claimed that his brother and father put up a “menacing” united front against him and didn’t want to listen to anything he had to say.
When Sykes asked William’s friend if the Prince of Wales actually hates his brother, as a source previously told the outlet, the friend said: “He feels betrayed. They were very close growing up so it has been very painful for William. But ultimately what can he do? Just look at ‘Spare.’ It’s literally William’s worst nightmare. It is a total violation of his privacy. On top of that, Harry has criticized Kate and the way he is bringing up his children. It’s very, very sad. I think it is completely understandable that right now William is still absolutely disgusted by what his brother has done.”