Prince Harry returns to UK alone before anniversary of Queen’s death

Prince Harry is set to arrive in the UK today on the eve of the first anniversary of the Queen’s death, but will not meet the royal family during his visit, according to reports.

The Duke of Sussex, who is flying to London without his wife Meghan Markle, will attend an awards ceremony organised by WellChild, a children’s charity of which Harry has been a patron for 15 years.

The duke will be in London for the Queen’s first death anniversary on Friday 8 September, but palace sources told Mail Online Harry will not be meeting any members of the royal family – including King Charles and Prince William.

Harry will join WellChild to celebrate the resilience and achievements of the country’s seriously ill children and youngsters during an event on Thursday evening.

An insider told the newspaper Charles “had no time in his diary” to meet Harry, as the relationships between the duke and the rest of the family remain strained after the publication of his bombshell memoir Spare in January this year.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Kensington and Buckingam palaces for comment.

In his tell-all memoir, Harry claimed William physically attacked him during an altercation that stemmed from an argument about Meghan.

He also revealed the last words he said to the Queen on her deathbed at her summer residence, Balmoral estate, last year.

He described how he whispered to her that he “hoped she was happy” and would be reunited with her husband Philip, who died in April 2021.

King Charles and Queen Camilla are currently Balmoral in Scotland and are not expected to attend any public engagements this week.

Instead, they will mark the queen’s death anniversary privately, the newspaper reported.

Announcing Harry’s visit last month, WellChild shared a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

“We are delighted to announce that WellChild Patron Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will attend the WellChild Awards, in association with GSK, on 7 September.”

The event begins at 6:15pm BST and will be livestreamed, with organisers declining to reveal its location.

After his London visit, Harry will travel to Dusseldorf, Germany for the opening ceremony of his Invictus Games on 9 September, but will not be joined by Meghan who will remain in California with their two children.

The duchess will reportedly fly out later in the week for the closing ceremony, where singer Rita Ora will perform. Both Harry and Meghan are scheduled to give speeches.

Harry came up with the idea for the tournament after a visit to the US to watch Warrior Games, the Department of Defense’s annual sporting event for injured or ill service personnel and veterans.

He credited the experience for helping him realise how sport can benefit service personnel in their recovery journeys and launched the Invictus Games as a paralympic-style sporting competition in 2014.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at United Nations headquarters, Monday, July 18, 2022 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at United Nations headquarters, Monday, July 18, 2022 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post injury and celebrate their fighting spirit, through an inclusive sporting competition that recognises the sacrifice they have made,” Prince Harry said, at the time.

Harry’s new docuseries Heart of Invictus, which follows “a group of extraordinary competitors from around the globe: service members who have experienced life-changing injuries or illnesses on their road to the Invictus Games”, was released on Netflix on 30 August.

During the series, Harry recalled how returning from his final tour of service in Afghanistan led to an “unravelling” that triggered the trauma of losing his mother Diana at a very young age.

He added: “I didn’t have that support structure, that network or that expert advice to identify actually what was going on with me.”

It follows their six-part documentary Harry & Meghan, which was released last December.

During the series, the duke and duchess shed light on their lives as senior members of the royal family, including alleged speculation of the colour of their son Archie’s skin within the palace.

They also claimed palace staff leaked stories about Meghan to the British press.

Additional reporting by agencies.