'Real reason' Prince Harry didn't see King Charles during recent UK trip

King Charles III and Prince Harry
King Charles III and Prince Harry -Credit:WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry turned down an invitation from his father King Charles to stay at a royal residence during his recent UK trip over concerns about his security, reports have suggested. The Duke of Sussex spent three nights in London after travelling back to the UK to mark 10 years of the Invictus Games.

He did not see any members of the Royal Family, including King Charles, during his short trip. A spokesperson for Prince Harry explained this was due to the monarch's busy schedule.

But the prince's account has now been thrown into doubt as experts claim King Charles agreed to a request from Harry to stay at a royal residence. Harry no longer has an official UK home after handing back the keys to Frogmore Cottage, gifted to the prince and his wife Meghan Markle by the late Queen.

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According to the Telegraph, Prince Harry turned down the offer because it did not come with any security. He would have been staying in a 'visible location with public entrance and exit points and no police protection', Mirror reports.

Instead, Harry reportedly chose to stay in a hotel so 'he could come and go unseen'. It is not known which residence Harry was offered.

St James' Palace could have been a possibility - it is home to Princess Beatrice and Princess Anne. It also has extra rooms and is directly adjacent to Clarence House where the King stays when in London.

It would have meant that father and son could have met in privacy with armed guards protecting the premises. All royal residences have armed guards at entry and exit points, while boasting the most sophisticated security systems in the country.

Prince Harry applied for a judicial review after the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) declared in February 2020 that he and his family were no longer entitled to the 'same degree' of personal security when visiting Britain.

The Duke accused the Home Office of subjecting him to 'unlawful and unfair treatment' by denying his family the right to automatic security and claims he has been treated 'less favourably' than others. He offered to pay for his own security but was told the Metropolitan Police Service was not for hire.

He lost a legal challenge in February, leaving him with an estimated bill of more than £1million. He is now required to give at least 28 days' notice of his visits to the UK - including all details of his travel arrangements - so the committee can assess his security requirements.

Speaking on the podcast The Royals with Roya and Kate, Sunday Times royal editor Roya Nikkhah said: "All the narrative from the moment he [Harry] touched down and we got that statement from Harry's spokesperson saying it's not possible for Harry to see his father, his father is too busy, he completely understands. That set the mood music for the whole week that Harry had said "Pa is too busy to see me".

"I just thought something didn't feel quite right about this, so I dug away and dug away a bit deeper and found out that actually, Harry had asked if he could stay and Charles had said "yes, come and stay son. You come and stay in a royal residence, you are near where I am so it's going to be much easier for me to see you given what's going on with my diary and your diary".

"And that turned everything on its head because the narrative from Harry that I wanted to see my father but he is too busy to see me, actually the reality was Charles said "yes please do come and stay in a royal gaff and that would make it much easier for me to see each other"."

In response, The Times assistant editor Kate Mansey remarked: "Someone at the palace told me that the King was bruised by that statement that Harry put out, which all plays into exactly why."