AMANDA PLATELL: My heart yearns for Harry to heal the rift with his father and brother. But this is why my head tells me it will never happen…
My immediate reaction to the news Prince Harry plans to rush back from California to be at his Dad’s bedside: there is at least one silver lining to the grim news of the King’s cancer.
Perhaps this would mean that the wounds between father and son – and even between warring brothers – could finally begin to heal. After all, unhappy families often come together when one of their members faces a scary medical diagnosis.
Family unity must surely be the King’s dearest wish – remember his desperate plea to the fighting brothers after Prince Philip’s funeral: ‘Sons, please don’t make my last years a misery.’
How wonderful it would be if the bitterness between Princes William and Harry could disappear in this most difficult of circumstances. If they united in a common cause of love and concern for their father.
A smiling King Charles and Queen Camilla leaving Clarence House this afternoon
Prince Harry arrives at Clarence House this afternoon to meet his father, King Charles
Harry and Meghan walk behind senior royals at a Commonwealth Service in London in 2020
Despite the King’s closest aides recently admitting that his relationship with his younger son is now ‘firmly rooted’ – with rapprochement ‘far away’ – I ventured to hope that Charles’ cancer diagnosis, albeit terrible, at least could bring the lost lamb back to the fold.
But then reality kicked in and I thought to myself, ‘How exactly would that work?’ How could the family forgive and forget all the injustices that Harry had visited upon them?
He tracked them down in the most brutal ways imaginable, accusing them of emotional neglect and even racism (although they subsequently denied having it). How could he be accepted back if he had not seen his father or family in the nine months since his brief visit for the Coronation?
How will scheduling the family visits actually work while Charles undergoes treatment or recovers? And what about Camilla? The queen will, I think, be the gatekeeper who determines who sees her husband where and when. And yet, in his book Spare – for which he received a $20m advance – Harry described her as a ‘dangerous villain’ who leaked damaging stories about him to improve her own reputation; he said she was someone who ‘sacrificed me on her own personal PR altar’. Who would blame her if Harry was the least of her worries?
As for William, whom Harry accused in Spare of knocking him to the floor in a red mist of rage and described in his book as his ‘arch nemesis’, could there ever be a reconciliation?
Then there’s the Princess of Wales, who the Sussexes’ unofficial biographer and mouthpiece, Omid Scobie, described as ‘cold, a Stepford-esque royal wife’. And to whom Harry also appears to have obliquely – and cuttingly – referred to in Spare: ‘I think for so many people in the royal family, especially men obviously, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who is at the shape fits. to someone you might have been meant to be with.’
How could Kate bear to be in the same room as Harry – let alone sitting next to Charles’ bed – especially after both she and the king were named by Scobie in his book Endgame as the ‘racists’ who supposedly ‘ raised concern about the skin did not color baby Archie’.
There must be deep resentment, not only with Camilla, William and Kate, but also Anne, Edward and Sophie about Harry’s behaviour, says Amanda Platell
What a knife it will be in her heart if Kate happens to visit her father-in-law – who describes her as ‘my beloved daughter-in-law’ – and runs into Harry in anger.
So, in a way, it must be a huge relief to all the working royals that Harry’s visit is likely to be short. He plans to be with Meghan in Canada next week ahead of his Invictus Games, an event he can rightly be proud of. It was surely the wisest decision of Meghan to stay at home this time when emotions in the family must run so high.
There must be deep resentment not only from Camilla, William and Kate, but also Anne, Edward and Sophie about Harry’s behaviour. They are the ones who remained steadfast and loyal to the King’s side. They who will soon be working hard to supplement the King’s public engagements and keep the Firm going.
Oh, how different it would have been if Harry was still here as a working royal sharing the burden. But he’s not
Therefore, although my heart yearns for a rapprochement during Harry’s fleeting return, my head tells me it will never happen.