King Charles too busy to see son Prince Harry during UK trip

FILE PHOTO: A momentous year for the British royal family

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry will not be seeing his father King Charles during his current visit to Britain as the monarch will be too busy, Harry's spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Harry, 39, has returned to Britain to attend a number of events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, the international sporting event that he founded for military personnel wounded in action.

The younger son of King Charles has only been back in Britain on a few occasions since he and his American wife Meghan stepped down from official royal roles in 2020 and moved to Los Angeles where they live with their two young children.

They have since become estranged from the rest of the royal family and Harry is said to be barely on speaking terms with his elder brother, heir to the throne Prince William.

Harry's last publicised trip came in February when he made a flying visit to see his father for a quick reunion after Buckingham Palace revealed that the 75-year-old king had been diagnosed with cancer.

There had been press speculation that the pair would meet up again on his latest trip, but a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said this would not happen.

"In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full programme," the spokesperson said.

"The duke of course is understanding of his father's diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon."

Charles returned to public duties last week for the first time since his diagnosis for an unspecified form of cancer. Buckingham Palace said the king's diary would be carefully managed to minimise any risks to his health.

The palace has said it would not comment on matters relating to Harry.

On Tuesday, Harry, who served in the British armed forces in Afghanistan, attended a number of appointments linked to the Invictus Games. On Wednesday he will appear at a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral in London where he will deliver one of the readings.

After leaving Britain, Harry will be joined by his wife Meghan for a visit to Nigeria.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Gareth Jones)