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Prince Harry Leaves U.K. After 24-Hour Return to Support King Charles

Prince Harry is already heading home to California after a whirlwind 24-hour return to the U.K. that came after this week’s shocking revelation of King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis. 

The royal was spotted returning to Heathrow Airport on Wednesday afternoon, the New York Post reports, after touching down there on a red-eye from L.A. around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The 39-year-old was ushered in a convoy to Clarence House, a royal residence in the London borough of Westminster, for a reported 45-minute visit with his father.

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Harry opted to check in to a local hotel, the Post reports, rather than stay at one of many available royal residences — as was the case during his September visit back home. He and his wife, Meghan Markle, were formally asked to return the keys to Frogmore Cottage, their residence at Windsor Castle, in June after Harry’s tell-all memoir, Spare, widened the rift that led to both shunning royal life in 2020.

The Duke of Sussex’s quick exit after a brief show of support for his father, whose cancer was publicly revealed by Buckingham Palace on Monday, dashes any hope of a reconciliation with Prince William. The once-tight brothers have been estranged since Harry began to air his grievances over the treatment of his wife as she began life as a royal; following months of rumors of palace intrigue, the two quit their royal duties and started a new life, raising their two children in Montecito, California.

On Wednesday, William returned to the spotlight with fresh scrutiny after three weeks away from performing royal duties. The heir to England’s throne hosted an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and was then set to attend a London Air Ambulance fundraising gala, AFP reports. He’d last been seen publicly in mid-January, having cleared his schedule as his wife, Kate Middleton, was admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery on Jan. 16.

Following the visit with his younger son, King Charles, whose cancer diagnosis comes 17 months into his reign, left London for his residence in Sandringham. He has postponed all public-facing duties while receiving outpatient treatment; according to a spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the two will conduct his weekly meeting by telephone.

During its unprecedented move of announcing the king’s cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace said that King Charles “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

It’s anticipated that William will now take on further royal duties in his father’s absence. AFP reports that Charles’ sister Princess Anne and his wife, Queen Camilla, will also step up as the king undergoes treatment.

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