Why Prince Harry Won't See Brother Prince William and Father King Charles While He's in the U.K.
The Duke of Sussex made a surprise appearance in London on Monday, attending the High Court for a legal case against Associated Newspapers Ltd for illegal information gathering
Prince Harry is back in the U.K. — but he likely won't see King Charles or Prince William during his visit.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, made a surprise appearance in London on Monday, attending the first day of a legal case in which he and other prominent figures, including Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, are suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, for illegal information gathering.
It marked the first time Prince Harry, who relocated to California with Meghan Markle and their family in 2020 after stepping back from their royal roles, returned to the U.K. since the funeral of Queen Elizabeth in September. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were already in Europe for a series of charity events when his grandmother died at age 96.
PEOPLE understands that Prince Harry flew to London to show his support for the case and informed both King Charles, 74, and Prince William, 40, that he would be in the U.K. for the proceedings. However, it's unlikely that Harry will see his father or brother during the trip.
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Prince William is not at his Windsor home while he and his wife, Kate Middleton, spend time with their three children during a school break. The Prince and Princess of Wales typically try to keep royal duties to a minimum — and often escape to their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk — while Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, are off from school.
King Charles was scheduled to be in France this week for the first overseas tour of his reign. However, the trip was postponed due to increasingly-violent riots across the country.
King Charles and Queen Camilla, 75, will continue with their plan to visit Germany, arriving on Wednesday for the tour.
It's unclear where Prince Harry is staying during his visit to the U.K. Although a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan's Archewell Foundation confirmed to PEOPLE earlier this month that the couple was "requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage," their U.K. home in Windsor, it's not certain when they will officially move out.
A source recently told PEOPLE that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are "matter-of-fact" about being requested to leave Frogmore Cottage and aren't trying to overturn the decision. The source added that Harry and Meghan, 41, are happy to raise their two children — 3-year-old son Prince Archie and 1-year-old daughter Princess Lilibet — in California.
Related:Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Eviction from U.K. Home Is 'Just the Start' of King Charles' Slim-Down Plan
It's also still unclear if Prince Harry and Meghan will return to the U.K. in May for the King's coronation.
A spokesperson for the couple told The Sunday Times in a statement earlier this month, "I can confirm The Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty's office regarding the coronation."
However, Harry and Meghan's spokesperson added that their attendance wasn't confirmed yet. "An immediate decision on whether The Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time," the statement continued.
On Monday, Prince Harry watched intently during the High Court proceedings, sometimes taking notes, from his seat two rows behind the leading lawyers in the case. The four-day hearing will consider legal arguments from both sides and will conclude with a judge's ruling on whether the case should go to trial. Associated Newspapers are arguing that the case should be thrown out.
When it was announced in October 2022, Prince Harry's lawyers claimed that he was among seven individuals who had "become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers."
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The claimants alleged in their lawsuit that unlawful practices included the placement of listening devices in their cars and homes by private investigators, the surreptitious recording of private telephone calls, the payment of police "with corrupt links to private investigators" for sensitive information, impersonation to obtain medical information from hospitals and care facilities and illicit manipulation into accessing bank accounts, credit histories and other financial transactions.
Associated Newspapers deny the allegations, calling them "preposterous smears," the BBC reported.
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