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King Charles gives Prince Harry ‘slap in the face’ with announcement after refusing to see his son: expert


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Prince Harry was hit with two major blows during his return to the U.K.

Just after learning that he would not be able to see his father due to the king’s busy schedule, Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday that Harry’s brother, Prince William, will be made colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps. The Prince of Wales is succeeding King Charles III as head of the regiment.

The U.K.’s Independent noted that it’s likely the honor would have been given to Harry, if he hadn’t stepped down as a senior member of the royal family, because he served with the unit in Afghanistan. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.


Prince William will be made colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps despite the Duke of Sussex having served with the unit in Afghanistan, the U.K.’s Independent reported. (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images/File)

“It is one slap in the face after another for Harry,” royal expert Ian Pelham Turner told Fox News Digital about the announcement, which some U.K. outlets have described as another “snub” for the prince.

“I think this is a mistake,” said Pelham Turner about the king not choosing to meet with his son ahead of the bombshell news. “Patronizing reasons like Harry might spill the beans on a conversation in any future book … are not justified and will only add petrol to the flames. Charles … [was] touchy feeling, holding hands with cancer victims but cannot stretch out to his son.”

A close-up of Prince William listening

Prince William is heir to the British throne. (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images/File)

“Taking away another military regiment … means nothing to the British public,” Pelham Turner said. “But it does to Harry. [It’s] the regiment he served in until 2014. Giving it to William will only further highlight the churlish divisions and not show a forgiving nature. … On a day when Harry is at an event to celebrate the Invictus Games … I wonder what the recipients … think of the betrayal.”

Prince Harry wearing a navy suit and medals

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, leaves the Invictus Games Foundation 10th anniversary service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 8, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games Foundation)

Harry, 39, arrived in London without his wife, Meghan Markle, by his side. The prince joined a panel on Tuesday for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. The discussion, “The IGF Conversation: Realizing a Global Community,” aimed to highlight service personnel and their families.

Then on Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex appeared at St. Paul’s Cathedral for a service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry greeting a crowd of people

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, greets the public while leaving the Invictus Games Foundation 10th anniversary service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 8, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games Foundation)

On that same day, Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, welcomed thousands of guests to Buckingham Palace for the first garden party of 2024. The festivities are a longstanding tradition that dates to the 1860s. Other members of the royal family, including Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, were in attendance.


The royals standing together in formal wear

Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla host a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 8, 2024. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex previously confirmed to Fox News Digital that the prince wouldn’t be meeting with his father.

“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 programme,” the statement said.

King Charles in a navy suit waves to spectators as he leaves The London Clinic

King Charles (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/File)

“The Duke, of course, is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

King Charles tipping his top hat next to a smiling Queen Camilla

King Charles III couldn’t meet with his son, Prince Harry, due to his “full programme,” a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex confirmed to Fox News Digital in a statement. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Harry’s sister-in-law, Princess Kate Middleton, has been keeping a low profile as she seeks treatment for cancer. The king, 75, who was also diagnosed with cancer, has returned to public-facing duties as he continues his recovery.

Kate Middleton in a white top with navy stripes sits on a bench to announce she has cancer

Princess Kate Middleton announced to the world that she had cancer in a pre-recorded message shared in March. (The Prince and Princess of Wales Twitter/File)

Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital that the king and the Prince of Wales, 41, sent a clear message to Harry.

“If there were any doubts that Harry is dead to his father and brother, then this one-two punch from King Charles should dispel them once and for all,” Andersen said. “By announcing that he was too busy to see Harry, even though the two men are just two miles apart, and then officially giving Harry’s colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps title to William – one of the honorary military titles Harry cherished most – the king is slamming the door in Harry’s face.”


Prince Harry walking behind his father King Charles

Prince Harry has had a strained relationship with his family since he quit royal duties in 2020. (Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images/File)

“This was a calculated, even cruel snub,” Andersen said. “Under other circumstances, I would have chalked it up to the fatal tone-deafness that the palace is so famous for. But the king could easily have carved out time to see Harry, and the announcement giving Harry’s old title to William didn’t have to happen just as Harry arrived in London. This was all very deliberate and very petty – and very personal.”

Andersen said Harry has “put up a good front” as he remained dedicated to highlighting his passion project.

Prince Harry hearing his father King Charles speak

The former Prince Charles and his son, Prince Harry, are seen here during the Invictus Games in 2014. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“Having to put up with so much emotional turmoil throughout his entire life, he has learned to compartmentalize,” Andersen said. “He certainly gave no indication that anything was wrong during the Invictus ceremonies. That doesn’t mean that Harry isn’t frustrated and, frankly, deeply wounded by the royals’ continued intransigence.”

Prince Harry looking down while wearing a suit with medals

Other senior members of the royal family weren’t present to support the Invictus Games with Prince Harry. (Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images/File)

“It’s also very sad that the king and other senior royals have made no effort to embrace the Invictus Games,” Andersen continued. “Queen Elizabeth was a huge booster of Invictus and, in 2016, even did a memorable TV commercial for the games with Harry and Barack and Michelle Obama.

“You would think otherwise, given the king’s health problems, not to mention Princess Kate’s. This would be the perfect time for Charles to seize the olive branch being extended repeatedly by Harry. But the king and Prince William are not in a forgiving mood.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is seen at King Charles IIIs coronation

Prince Harry attended his father’s coronation in May 2023. He swiftly left and returned to California. (Ben Stansall/Getty Images/File)

Harry has had a troubled relationship with the royal family since he quit royal duties. According to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media prompted the move to California in 2020.


Prince Harry in a navy suit and tie holds Meghan Markles hand, wearing a dark dress after the Queen passed away

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to California, where the duchess is originally from, in 2020. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

After their departure, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aired their grievances about life as royals. In 2021, they sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview that was viewed by 50 million people globally. Following the release of a six-part docuseries on Netflix in 2022, Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” hit bookshelves in 2023, quickly becoming a bestseller.

British royal expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital that the king’s seemingly too-busy schedule and William’s new role are no accidents.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share a kiss after a charity polo match.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle kiss as she presents his polo team with the trophy for winning the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale on April 12, 2024, in Wellington, Florida. (AP Images)

“One of the many ways we know how much the military has always meant to Prince Harry is that he wore his Blues and Royals military uniform when he wed Meghan … back when he was Captain General of the Marines,” Fordwich said. “He has lost other military honorary titles: his Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore in Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle waving on their wedding day

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are shown on their wedding day in 2018. (Aaron Chown/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“Nothing the royal family does is either spur of the moment or by accident,” she said. “Nor do they act in isolation. … What is so sad for Harry is that he was viewed by both the public and military as a rather courageous soldier. He didn’t have to serve in Afghanistan. He had to fight government policy to be allowed to serve. … It was considered too much of a security risk for him to see active duty.”

“His reputation was further enhanced with his founding of the Invictus Games,” Fordwich continued. “But now his reputation is permanently tarnished.”

“It’s hard to imagine when a true reconciliation will ever occur,” Andersen said, referring to Harry’s strained relationship with his family.


Prince Harry in a dark suit looking to the side

The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport tournament for injured and sick military personnel and veterans co-founded by Prince Harry while he was working with the Royal Foundation. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu via Getty Images/File)

Modeled after the Warrior Games in the United States, Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a Paralympic-style event designed to inspire military veterans around the world as they work to overcome battlefield injuries. Harry was a former captain in the British Army.

Prince Harry celebrates the 10th anniversary of Invictus Games

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, speaks with pikemen and musketeers during the Invictus Games Foundation Conversation titled “Realising a Global Community” at the Honorable Artillery Company on May 7, 2024, in London. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for The Invictus Games Foundation)

The Invictus Games were created when the royal was patron of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. It was the charitable organization shared by the royal brothers and the Princess of Wales.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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