Headed home! Prince Harry is on his way back to California right after father King Charles III’s coronation ceremony.
Us Weekly confirms that the Duke of Sussex, 38, headed to Heathrow airport after the event. He has every intention of making it home in time to celebrate son Archie’s 4th birthday.
Harry arrived in the U.K. on Friday, May 5, one day prior to Charles, 74, being crowned monarch. Us Weekly confirmed the prince’s commercial flight landed in the capital city of England at the time.
Ahead of the coronation, royal expert Nick Bullen exclusively told Us that Harry was planning to “minimize the amount of time that he’s in London.” The Archewell cofounder, Bullen explained, was “nervous” to see his family, from whom he has been estranged for years. The editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV noted that the duke “already said that he wants to be back for Archie’s birthday that afternoon, that evening.”
While Harry was in the U.K. for his father’s historic celebration, his wife, Meghan Markle, stayed at home in California with their children: 4-year-old son Archie and 23-month-old daughter Lilibet. Archie’s 4th birthday fell on the same day as the coronation, which is why the Suits alum, 41, was not in attendance.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world. Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first,” a source exclusively told Us last month. “She feels very grateful to be included in such a special occasion by the royal family and is glad that Harry can go and show support on behalf of their family. But being the same day as Archie’s birthday, unfortunately, she’s just going to have to miss out on this one.”
Instead, the “Archetypes” podcast host was planning to throw a “low-key” birthday party for Archie while Harry was in the U.K.
As Bullen told Us last month, Harry — who stepped down from his position as a senior royal in 2020 — would not be part of the procession or balcony appearance, as he is no longer a working royal. “It will be very much of a fly-in visit,” he explained.
Royal expert Gareth Russell exclusively told Us on Tuesday, May 2, that it is not “surprising that Prince Harry hasn’t been given a role [in the coronation].” The historian noted that The Firm made the call in order to “not to complicate matters further by having him involved … simply because … the royals are hoping that they can draw a line under the recent controversy with the Duke of Sussex.”
Harry and Meghan have frequently spoken out about the alleged mistreatment they received from the family since stepping down from their duties as working royals in 2020. The BetterUp CIO, for his part, made numerous allegations against his brother, Prince William, and their father in his January memoir, Spare, including the claim that he and William, 40, got into a physical fight over Meghan, and that his father’s team planted bad press about him and William.
Despite the drama, Charles, 74, was “thrilled” that his youngest son would be attending the coronation, a source exclusively told Us in April.
As Russell explained to Us earlier this month, “Prince Harry, as would the king and Prince William, would regret if he wasn’t there. So I think generally speaking, the consensus is it’s right that he’s there. It’s probably best that he’s there as King Charles’ son rather than as a working prince of the United Kingdom.”
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Reporting by Travis Cronin