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It seems there’s no way forward for Prince Harry and King Charles III. An expert says the father-son relationship is “terminally damaged,” after they didn’t meet during the Duke of Sussex’s trip to London, England, for the Invictus Games’ 10-year anniversary. Ahead, what would happen between Harry and his dad “in a sensible world.” Plus, how there’s been a complete role reversal. 

A spokesperson for Harry confirmed he wouldn’t see King Charles while in London 

Harry touched down in London, England, to mark 10 years of the Invictus Games with a bang. A rep for the Duke of Sussex confirmed on May 7, 2024, that Harry and his father would have no U.K. meeting. 

“It, unfortunately, will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full programme,” Harry’s spokesperson said (via ABC News). “The Duke, of course, is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

So, what did the king have going on? A weekly audience with Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Buckingham Palace’s first garden party of the season.

Harry traveled to London for the anniversary of the Invictus Games after celebrating his son Prince Archie’s birthday. He then made the rounds at various events before attending a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 8, 2024. 

Harry’s relationship with his father appears ‘terminally damaged’ in light of no U.K. meeting

While Harry’s statement had a dignified tone, “we can deduce that their relationship is terminally damaged,” Jennie Bond, a royal expert and former BBC commentator, said (via Express). 

“In a sensible world, Harry would stay with his dad at Clarence House,” she continued. “They could have cozy chats in perfect privacy and with all the security Harry wants.” 

As for things between Harry and his older brother, Prince William, 41, it “does appear to be a terminally damaged relationship.” 

“In a way, it seems the boot is now very much on the other foot,” she said. “Previously, it was Harry who was the ‘victim’ looking for an apology for all his perceived grievances. Now, those grievances must seem utterly trivial, even to Harry, in the face of a very real problem: cancer.” 

The king’s been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer in February 2024. A month later, Kate announced she, too, had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer, for which she’s getting preventative chemotherapy treatment. 

“Kate and William are involved in a frightening fight. And I don’t think they have the will or the strength to confront someone, even a brother, who picked a fight over issues that seem pathetic by comparison.” 

“William is doing everything he possibly can to protect his wife, and I very much doubt that they want to deal with ‘the Harry problem’ right now, if ever,” she concluded. 

King Charles could’ve ‘very easily’ seen Prince Harry if he wanted to 

Historian Hugo Vickers said it wouldn’t have been difficult for King Charles to meet with Harry.

“If the king wanted to see Harry, he would find time very easily,” Vickers said. “You can never be too busy to see your son.” He also noted a meeting would’ve been a “good idea” as it would help “forge some kind of reconciliation.” 

The monarch’s back to public duties after 11 weeks due to ongoing cancer treatment. His calendar included a meeting with Britain’s prime minister as well as a Buckingham Palace garden party, among other things, during Harry’s time in London. 

“The king has left the door wide open but obviously not that wide,” a source said of a possible reconciliation. “But they absolutely can stuff things in his diary and juggle things around.”

The outlet also reported Harry spent more than a month trying to organize a meeting.