The Duke of Sussex traveled abroad without his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two young children
Prince Harry was photographed at London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, reportedly leaving London after spending about 24 hours in his home country.
Harry made the trip to the U.K. without his wife, Meghan Markle, and their children, Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex settled in her home state of California after stepping back from their royal roles in 2020.
Prince Harry arrived in the U.K. on Tuesday after catching a flight from Los Angeles on Monday. He reportedly traveled to Clarence House, King Charles and Queen Camilla’s home base in London, where the father and son are believed to have had a brief private meeting, reportedly reuniting for the first time since the coronation ceremony in May 2023.
"That is good," a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story. “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them."
It’s understood that King Charles, 75, personally informed his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William as well as other family members of his diagnosis before Buckingham Palace made the public announcement. On Monday, the palace released a 138-word statement to share that the monarch is receiving treatment for “a form of cancer.”
The cancer diagnosis news came shortly after King Charles underwent a procedure to treat a benign enlarged prostate on Jan. 26, and one week after he left the London Clinic following a three-day stay following the surgery. However, the palace clarified that he does not have prostate cancer.
King Charles commenced treatment as an out-patient in London on Monday, and he met with Prince Harry the next day. The King and Queen Camilla returned to Sandringham after that meeting, spending Queen Elizabeth’s Feb. 6 Accession Day at the private royal residence in the Norfolk countryside like his mother traditionally did.
Prince Harry’s latest trip marked his second solo visit to London in five months. In September 2023, Prince Harry traveled from California to attend the WellChild Awards in London. The charity works to support seriously ill children and their families, and the annual awards celebrate the inspirational qualities of the young people and those who care for them. Harry has been a patron of WellChild since 2007, and the affiliation is one of the few he retained from his royal life after stepping back from his royal role in 2020.
While Prince Harry attended the event solo, he told one family that his wife was "very upset that she couldn’t be here," Hello! magazine reported.
The Duke of Sussex made a similarly short solo trip to London last spring to see his father crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6. He headed to the airport shortly after the coronation, returning home on the day that doubled as his son Prince Archie's 4th birthday.
During Prince Harry’s latest visit, a royal source said there were "no plans" for the Duke of Sussex and his brother, Prince William, to get together.
It's not confirmed where Harry stayed overnight, as he and Meghan were “requested to vacate” their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor in March 2023 three years after moving to the U.S., a spokesperson said at the time.
On Wednesday, Prince William made his first public engagements since Kate Middleton returned home from the hospital following abdominal surgery and Buckingham Palace publicized the news about the King’s health. William had stepped away from royal duty to help care for his three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — while his wife, Princess Kate, recuperates. The Princess of Wales, 42, is not expected to return to public life until at least Easter, Kensington Palace previously said.
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The Prince of Wales conducted an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on behalf of his father and attended London’s Air Ambulance Charity gala dinner later in the day. It’s a cause close to heart for Prince William, who was an air ambulance pilot for around two years in East Anglia and serves as the organization’s patron.
As heir to the throne, Prince William may undertake some duties on behalf of his father in addition to his own diary of engagements in the coming weeks, PEOPLE understands. However, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act on King Charles’ behalf. Counsellors of State are members of the royal family who can carry out constitutional duties for the monarch if they are abroad or unwell.
“William will do his best, but the King will want to carry on with his duties as best he can,” a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue.
The Buckingham Palace statement said that while the King has "been advised to postpone public-facing duties," he would "continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual."
It's understood that Prince William has not seen his father since the news was announced, but they are in regular contact.
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