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Prince Harry Accused of "PR" Trip to See King Charles—Why His Visit Was So Short

Harry traveled to the U.K. to visit his father after Charles' cancer diagnosis was revealed.

After King Charles III' cancer diagnosis was announced earlier this month, Prince Harry made the trip back to the U.K. from California to visit his father. But, as was soon reported, the trip was a very short one. According to reports, Harry was in the U.K. for just over 24 hours and met with Charles for around 30 minutes. Now, royal experts and insiders have spoken out about Charles and Harry's meeting, and shared their thoughts on why it was so brief.

RELATED: King Charles Defended Controversial Skin Color Comments to Meghan Markle, New Book Claims.

Royal expert Robert Jobson told The Sun that he believes Charles and Harry met for 30 minutes because anything longer would have been too stressful for the king.

"You don't want his blood pressure going up. The King's not very well, whatever type of cancer it is, he's undergoing treatment," Jobson said. "The best thing for him is calm."

He added that their conversation could have turned to tense topics if Harry had stuck around for longer.

"After the initial kiss and hug, love you dad, hope you get better soon, what issues are going to get raised?" Jobson pointed out. "Things that will get your blood pressure rising."

The issues Jobson is referring to, of course, stem from Harry's relationship—or lack thereof—with the royal family. In Jan. 2020, he stepped down as a working royal and moved to the U.S. with his wife, Meghan Markle, where they now raise their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

Since distancing himself from the royal family, Harry has been outspoken about the institution and his contentious relationships with specific family members, including his father; his brother, Prince William; and Charles' wife, Queen Camilla. Harry spoke out in his Netflix documentary, in his book Spare, and in a highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey. This has led to a significant and ongoing rift within the family.

RELATED: Why King Charles Proposed to Camilla After a "Humiliating" Incident.

Jobson went on to explain that Camilla could be another reason why Harry and Charles didn't extend their meeting.

"Let's be honest—he wasn't too complimentary about Queen Camilla in his book Spare. He wasn't very complimentary about her on Netflix," Jobson said of Harry. "They don't get on."

The writer also noted that Harry going to visit Charles might make the public think that Charles' condition is worse than it is.

"The fact of Harry flying over does give the suggestion that his condition may be a lot worse than it actually may well be," Jobson said. "I think a lot of people will be sitting there thinking, ' Oh well, it must be bad because he's on the plane.' Harry brings with him a certain drama. Will there be a reconciliation with William and the King? It stirs that whole pot."

RELATED: Prince William Hasn't Forgiven Harry for "Blatant Attack" on Kate Middleton, Royal Expert Says.

Another royal expert, Ingrid Seward, spoke to the The Sun about how William fits into this. She believes the Prince of Wales is "upset" by Harry's trip to the U.K., and that he views it as Harry taking a "PR opportunity."

"As far as William is concerned he has absolutely no interest in speaking to Harry until Harry behaves like a gentleman and apologizes for the years of rudeness and slurs he has aimed at William and the Princess of Wales," Seward said. "William must be privately furious thinking over all the years how he supported Harry and at this one moment in his life when his 75-year-old father and wife of 13 years are both potentially seriously unwell, all Harry can think about is Harry and using it as an opportunity to announce his arrival and expect to see William."

In addition to Charles being diagnosed with an unknown form of cancer, Kate Middleton recently underwent abdominal surgery.

A source reported to be close to Harry told The Sun of the trip, "The Duke's primary reason to travel to the UK is to visit his father. If the opportunity were to arise to see the Prince of Wales then the Duke would have gladly accepted it."

Meanwhile, a source who spoke with People shared a more positive take on the situation.

"That is good," the source said of Harry flying to London to meet with Charles. "Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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