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Prince Harry Leaves U.K. 24 Hours After Seeing Dad King Charles But Not Prince William

A royal source said there were "no plans" for Prince Harry and Prince William to get together during the brief trip

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty  Prince Harry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in March 2023.
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Prince Harry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in March 2023.

Prince Harry is leaving London after a quick trip to see his father, King Charles, shortly after Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch was diagnosed with cancer.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, was spotted at London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday after spending about 24 hours in the U.K., The Sun reported.

Prince Harry arrived on Tuesday after catching a flight from Los Angeles on Monday and reportedly traveled to Clarence House, where King Charles and Queen Camilla live in London. The father and son are believed to have had a brief private meeting, reportedly reuniting for the first time since the coronation ceremony in May 2023.

"That is good," a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story. “Hopefully [Harry] will bring the grandchildren at some point too, as that would be lovely for all of them."

While the Duke of Sussex spent time with his father before the King traveled back to Sandringham, a royal source said there were "no plans" for Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, to get together.

<p>YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William and Prince Harry on July 1, 2021.

YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry on July 1, 2021.

Related: Prince William Makes First Royal Appearance Since Kate Middleton's Surgery and King Charles' Cancer News

It's unclear where Prince Harry stayed overnight during the solo trip. He and his wife, Meghan Markle, were “requested to vacate” their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor in March 2023 after stepping back from their royal roles in 2020 and moving to the U.S., a spokesperson said at the time. The couple settled in her home state of California with their son Prince Archie, 4, and later welcomed daughter Princess Lilibet, 2, stateside in 2021.

Prince Harry had a similarly short trip to his home country when he traveled the 5,400-mile journey from California to London in May for his father's coronation. Just hours after the crowning ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the Duke of Sussex headed to the airport to return home — and mark Prince Archie's 4th birthday, which fell on the same day as the royal event.

The Duke of Sussex was last in the U.K. when he attended the WellChild Awards in September. Harry has been a patron of the charity, which supports seriously ill children and their families, since 2007.

Prince Harry and Meghan are set to visit Canada from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16 for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025's One Year to Go celebrations. Over their three-day visit, the couple are expected to join members of the participating nations' Winter Training Camp, which provides an opportunity for members of the International Invictus Community, including team managers, coaches and competitors, to experience winter adaptive sports ahead of the Games next year.

Prince Harry, a former captain in the British Army, founded the international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014.

<p>Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games 2023

Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games 2023

It’s understood that King Charles, 75, personally informed his two sons as well as other family members of his cancer diagnosis before Buckingham Palace made the public announcement on Monday. Two days ago, the palace announced the monarch is receiving treatment for “a form of cancer” with a 138-word statement. The diagnosis was publicized shortly after King Charles underwent a procedure to treat a benign enlarged prostate on Jan. 26. The update came one week after the King left the London Clinic following a three-day stay after the surgery. However, he does not have prostate cancer.

“During The King's recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” began the statement from Buckingham Palace.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual," it continued.

"The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible," the statement added. "His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> King Charles attends Sunday service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on February 4.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

King Charles attends Sunday service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on February 4.

Related: King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis Caught Even Palace Insiders Off Guard: 'Shocked' (Exclusive)

As heir to the throne, Prince William may undertake some duties on behalf of his father in addition to his own diary of engagements in the coming weeks, PEOPLE understands. However, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act on King Charles’ behalf. Counsellors of State are members of the royal family who can carry out constitutional duties for the monarch if they are abroad or unwell.

“William will do his best, but the King will want to carry on with his duties as best he can,” says a source close to the royal household.

It's understood that Prince William has not seen his father since the news was announced, but they are in regular contact.

The Prince of Wales, 41, has a full plate himself and made his first public engagement on Wednesday since Kate Middleton returned home from the hospital following abdominal surgery and Buckingham Palace publicized the news about the King’s health. William had stepped away from royal duty to help care for his three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — while his wife, Princess Kate, recuperates. The Princess of Wales, 42, is not expected to return to public life until at least Easter, Kensington Palace previously said.

It was confirmed that Prince William would return to work before the Buckingham Palace about King Charles. The Prince of Wales conducted a morning of investitures at Windsor Castle on behalf of his father on Wednesday, presenting medals to the likes of former soccer player Ellen White and brigadier Tobias Lambert, who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Investitures recognize outstanding achievement, personal bravery or services to the U.K., and the ceremonies are held throughout the year to celebrate those named to the New Year Honors List or the sovereign’s Birthday Honors list.

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Ellen Convery, who is better known as Ellen White from her soccer playing days, received an MBE from the Prince of Wales for services to soccer as the royal returned to public duties.

"It was an incredible honor to receive an MBE so I feel very lucky," she said at the castle.

"I sent my best wishes to the King and obviously to Kate, the Princess of Wales as well," she continued. "He was lovely. He really appreciated it. I just wanted to send my best wishes."

PEOPLE magazine, Feb. 19.
PEOPLE magazine, Feb. 19.

King Charles commenced treatment as an out-patient in London on Monday, and reportedly returned to Sandringham — where he and Queen Camilla attended church on Sunday — on Tuesday after seeing Harry. Feb. 6 is an emotional date on the family calendar, doubling as the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession and the death of her father, King George VI.

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