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US magazine mocks dysfunctional royals because Charles 'too busy' to see Harry

The Duke of Sussex made a surprise return to the UK for a court hearing but is not expected to see his father.

Britain's King Charles and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022.  REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
King Charles and his son Prince Harry at the Queen's state funeral. (Reuters)

King Charles has been mocked by a US magazine for being too busy to see his own son while the Duke of Sussex is in the UK.

Prince Harry made a surprise return to the country this week for a hearing at the High Court in London in his claim against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over allegations of unlawful information-gathering.

It was his first time in the UK since the Queen’s funeral last September and since the release of his controversial memoir Spare, in which he laid bare his troubled relationship with his father and brother.

But Harry was not expected to meet with the King or the Prince of Wales despite them both being in the UK, even though Charles's anticipated visit to France was cancelled on Friday.

According to the Telegraph, the king was holed up in Highgrove in Gloucestershire preparing for his visit to Germany on Wednesday and too busy to see his son.

Read more: Harry and Meghan's attendance at King's Coronation is in doubt - here's why

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, leaves the High Court in London, Britain March 27, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Prince Harry leaves the High Court in London. (Reuters)

The dysfunctional nature of the royals' relationship was noted in a scathing article in the New York Magazine headlined "King Charles Pretends He’s Too ‘Busy’ to See Prince Harry" saying it was not clear if he was “snubbing” Harry or just being “incompetent” following the release of his book.

“King Charles clearly doesn’t want to see Prince Harry right now,” the publication said.

“I think we can all relate: Who hasn’t avoided a relative because they did something obnoxious — for instance, writing a best-selling memoir spilling decades of family secrets?”

But it said the King had not come up with a good reason why he could not see his son given his schedule had been cleared when his trip to Paris was cancelled this week due to protests.

The NY Magazine added: “So what exactly is King Charles up to? The Telegraph only says that he is ‘understood to be at Highgrove,’ which is just a two-hour drive from London.

“If the palace was trying to take the high ground in its responses to Prince Harry, that would make sense. If it wanted to give him a Succession-y “F*** off,” that would also be reasonable.”

Watch: Prince Harry departs court after hacking claims hearing

The King was due to be away on Monday on the first official state visit of his reign, but the trip to France was cancelled due to rioting over pension reforms, meaning Charles is now in the UK at the same time as Harry for the first time in six months.

But Buckingham Palace said the King was not in Windsor or London and would be leaving for a state visit to Germany on Wednesday morning.

Harry, who lives in the US with his wife Meghan and their two children, is also unlikely to be meeting up with William.

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are not currently in Windsor because of the youngsters’ school Easter holidays.

It has not been confirmed whether Harry and Meghan will be at the King’s coronation in less than six weeks.

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan's Archewell foundation outshines Obama and Clinton foundations

Britain's William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry walk outside Windsor Castle, following the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in Windsor, Britain, September 10, 2022. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Prince Harry is also unlikely to be meeting up with his brother Prince William. (Reuters)

On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex was also in court for a hearing in his claim against ANL.

The publisher is bringing a bid to end High Court claims brought by people including Harry, Sir Elton John and Baroness Doreen Lawrence over alleged unlawful activity at its titles.

In a statement announcing the launch of the legal action, it was alleged the unlawful acts included hiring private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside cars and homes and the recording of private phone conversations.

ANL hit back at the allegations, describing them at the time as “preposterous smears” and a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone-hacking scandal”.