The King’s cancer diagnosis has given Prince Harry a golden opportunity to make it up with his father – but it could be his last chance.
If Charles’s younger son returns to California and personal details of his visit to the UK start leaking out to favoured media outlets, trust will dissolve quickly, and possibly forever.
The fact that Harry has come over so quickly is a positive sign, and maybe he needed a good excuse to leave Meghan and the children behind.
At recent showbiz events he has looked forlorn and lost, and in quiet moments he must sometimes regret what he has done to his family.
I’m sure it would have been very emotional when the pair met yesterday and there would have been hugs, if not a few tears.
Harry only met his father for 45 minutes at Clarence House, which is quite surprising as he had flown from California.
The King had to catch a helicopter to fly to Norfolk in daylight. But it’s a shame they didn’t talk longer.
Maybe a break the ice meeting is all we could expect to begin with.
But it’s a step in the right direction.
The King has made it clear that he still loves his son and has always left the door open for a reconciliation, and that is why he has never commented on Harry and Meghan’s allegations in books and TV interviews.
It’s ironic that Charles and the Princess of Wales, the two royals smeared with the untrue allegations of “racism” following the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview, are the ones who now have serious health concerns.
Stress is a major factor in cancer and illness generally, and they have both been put under immense pressure in recent months due to the onslaught of brickbats from Montecito.
It would be unfair to blame Harry and Meghan totally for their plight, but they certainly haven’t helped family harmony.
Now Harry must seize this moment to begin a healing process.
Hopefully it could lead to another visit later in the year when the King could spend some quality time with his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet, who are growing up with American accents on the West Coast.
Meghan has reportedly spoken on the phone a few weeks ago to the King, and the children sang to him by Zoom, but it’s not the same as seeing them in person.
Harry’s tome Spare laid bare his bitterness over his mother Princess Diana’s death.
But that was a quarter of a century ago and Charles is now his only parent.
He has pleaded with his sons not to make his last years a misery.
However I think it’s unlikely Harry will meet William on this whistle-stop visit.
I could be wrong but the rift between them is still cavernous and I don’t think the Prince of Wales is open to a meeting yet.
He is protecting his wife Kate from stress as she recovers at home from abdominal surgery, and any talks would be tense and tetchy, probably best left until another calmer time.
Cynics will speculate that it suits Harry to get back in with his blood family as his and Meghan’s star wanes on the world stage.
But only he knows his true feelings.
Let’s hope this time they are genuine.