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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Prince Harry should use UK visit to King Charles III as an opportunity to mend bridges with Prince William

You’re adult men. It’s tempting to say you’re behaving like the children you each have, although kids are probably more direct and forgiving in sorting out problems. It’s maybe more accurate to say you’re pig-headed, overly sensitive egotists who both want to hear, not give, an apology.

Imagine the hammer blow King Charles would have felt hearing he has cancer less than a year after his coronation, let alone his next thought: I need my boys with me.

Princes William and Harry with their father, King Charles III, on a family holiday as teenagers.

Princes William and Harry with their father, King Charles III, on a family holiday as teenagers.Credit: Retuters

I can’t stop thinking of him alone, toying with a cufflink, not a monarch but a man facing his mortality. Wanting his sons close but worrying they both can’t be in the same room.

The slim silver lining of the awful diagnosis is it’s reconciled Charles and Harry, fingers crossed. There’s something deeply human about a son hearing his hitherto-bulletproof father is ill and dropping everything, including pride, to say “sit tight, I’m coming”. To be on the next plane home.

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Harry’s haste in travelling 15,000 kilometres for a 45-minute reunion with his sick dad is a real opportunity for a Wales reset. But it has to also include William. He’s been silent about mending fences. It’s Harry who said, “I would like to have my brother back.”

So. Action is needed over the king’s plea of “boys, don’t make my final years a misery”. Both sons need to honour the man who was there for them as solo parent after Princess Diana’s death. Who is close to Kate, who walked Meghan down the aisle when her own father proved not up to the task.

Cancer doesn’t muck around with anyone, no matter how rich or famous. This is catastrophising but if it takes Charles, King William will need his own liege man. Harry is the best option. Literally born to the role. Amid thin Windsor ranks, he should be reinstated as a working royal now, minimum questions asked.

Who broke whose beads or whose wife hates who is staggeringly unimportant. Boys, you didn’t get to “parent” your mother as she aged. You’ll regret it if you blow it with your Pa.

Kate Halfpenny is the founder of Bad Mother Media.

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