“My understanding is he didn’t have any interactions with the Prince or Princess of Wales but that he did have a conversation with his father the night before,” royal expert Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, exclusively told Us Weekly.
His insider also revealed that no one was certain how long the Duke of Sussex, 38, would stay on Saturday, May 6, after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
“Until the morning, nobody really knew what Harry’s plans were going to be for that afternoon,” Bullen shared. “I think everybody knew he had a plane to catch. Everybody knew he was intending to get home, but there was a hope, I think, that he might be part of some of the family celebrations back at the palace. So, I think that there was a sadness that he wasn’t part of the fuller day, but, you know, they all knew he was gonna get [on] that plane.”
Harry arrived in the U.K. on Friday, May 5, one day prior to Charles, 74, being crowned monarch. Us confirmed that Harry left England hours after the ceremony on Saturday. He headed straight for Heathrow Airport and hopped onto a flight to Los Angeles. He arrived in California on Saturday evening to reunite with wife Meghan Markle for son Archie‘s 4th birthday. (The Archewell founders also share daughter Lilibet, 23 months.)
The BetterUp CIO seemingly kept his distance from the family amid tension surrounding his tell-all memoir Spare and candid Netflix docuseries. “There was a dinner on the Friday night at a private member’s club in London called Oswalds that a lot of the rest of the family went to. The Yorks went to it, Princess Anne went to it with her children. … so a lot of the extended royal family were at this private dinner, and there were no shots of Harry arriving at that dinner. It looks like he didn’t go,” the expert told Us. “Maybe he came into a back door, who knows? But it appears that he kept a very, very low profile during the whole piece.”
With the coronation over, it seems unlikely that the Spare author will return home. “There seems to be no reason for him to come back to London anytime soon. Meghan certainly is showing no interest in coming back,” Bullen told Us. “But I think what’s interesting is it’s possibly the beginning of the end of the Sussex interaction with the royal family.”
“I think that was what was really interesting about the coronation. It felt like Harry and Meghan were just sort of a sidebar to all of this,” he added. “This was absolutely history — the future. And it felt like the family had sort of put a line in the sand and said, ‘Right, we are moving forward.’”
Bullen continued, “Those three children — Charlotte, George, Louis — are becoming more and more photogenic. They’re becoming more and more the story. I think every year that they get closer to adulthood, the more the Sussexes drift away from being central to the story.”
The royal family did not publicly acknowledge Archie’s 4th birthday, which fell on the day of the coronation. However, Bullen said the king privately toasted to Archie — with one comment in the speech making it clear that there is still distance between them.
“I hear that the king made a toast to Archie ’cause it was his birthday, but even the way the king said that, [adding] ‘wherever he is,’ it was sad,” Bullen said. “And I think that’s the sad piece is that these two grandchildren aren’t part of the story. I think that is sad for them, sad for the king, but the Sussexes have made their decision on that.”
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Reporting by Christina Garibaldi