Prince Harry is in London this week to mark the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games. It’s a meaningful milestone for both Harry and the organisation as we have seen how much of his time and energy he’s invested into the foundation and, most importantly, the athletes and their families and loved ones who are supported by it, over the years. We have also seen how that passion and commitment has been appreciated. Within the Invictus community and among service personnel Harry is beloved, as evidenced by the huge success of the Invictus Games last September, held in Germany. 


So it’s been interesting to watch the coverage of Harry’s return to London play out over the last few days. Because there’s been a lot of focus on the fact that members of the British royal family did not participate in any of the events to celebrate the anniversary and all kinds of chatter about how Harry will not be seeing King Charles during his trip. The British tabloids seem especially excited about the “snub”. 

Harry confirmed earlier this week that he and his father would not have occasion to meet while he’s in town.

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program. The duke, of course, is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”


The King’s diary of commitments and various other priorities this week included a garden party.

At this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise. This estrangement has been going on for years now. But just because the other royals didn’t show up for Harry doesn’t mean other people didn’t show up for him. Harry was warmly greeted by what looks like a lot of people yesterday when he attended a service for the Invictus Games at St Paul’s Cathedral. You can watch some of it in the video below. I’ve also attached some photos of the crowd that gathered outside to see him. All that reporting about how unpopular he is in England doesn’t match up to the visuals of the people who queued for a glimpse of the prince’s return. 



You will also note from that video that while the royals weren’t in attendance, Princess Diana’s family members were as Harry’s uncle and aunt, Charles Spencer and Lady Jane Fellowes, were there, as well as his cousins, Lara and Louis Spencer and also George McCorquodale. Several members of government were also present. That, unfortunately, is not the preferred narrative of the British tabloids or, perhaps, the royal institution. Visual evidence of Harry’s persistent popularity is probably not what they were hoping for. 


Can’t imagine that any of this was unexpected for Harry. He obviously understands how the tabloids work and as for his family and not being able to see his father the king… 

If you’ve read Harry’s book Spare you’re probably aware that throughout his life it’s not like his dad was consistent in his life. In fact, going from what Harry shared in the book, the king being too busy for him wouldn’t have been a shock to a system that, um, might be used to it? 

But Spare does come up often when we’re talking about his relationship with King Charles and Prince Wiliam, how they and the royal family took exception to what Harry shared in the book and how that hindered any hope of reconciliation, a major contributing factor in their fracture. Specifically, though, where it relates to Charles and Harry’s situation, this is about Camilla. Which is also, as usual. 


In Spare, Harry straight up said that Camilla, in order to rehabilitate her image, threw him and William under the bus in service of her reputation. 

“I had complex feelings about gaining a step parent who, I believed, had recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar. In a funny way I even wanted Camilla to be happy. Maybe she’d be less dangerous if she was happy?”

Charles has always chosen Camilla. And now that Harry has come right out and told Camilla about herself, Charles avoiding Harry is more about where his loyalty is: with his wife, his second wife, that is. Because we certainly can’t say he was terribly loyal to his first. 

But also, opening up the Camilla part of that conversation doesn’t seem to be of all that much interest, at least not where the British tabloids are concerned. Because, of course, Camilla has invested in them, she has cravenly ingratiated herself with them specifically for this reason: to ensure positive coverage, which is why nobody wants to talk about the fact that Charles has for decades now prioritised Camilla and their relationship over his relationship with his children. In any other case the mommy blogs would be foaming at the mouth over this. 


You would think then that Charles, if anyone, would understand Harry’s choices over the last few years. And this is the irony. They keep screaming that Harry chose his wife over his royal family, as if his father didn’t do the same thing. The difference here is that Harry’s loyalty is to his wife, who is the mother of his children. For the king, it’s just his wife, not the children.

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