Prince Harry made a surprise appearance in London, but a reconciliation with Prince William and King Charles III is not happening, royal experts insist.
The Duke of Sussex was in court Monday as the lawyer for a group of British tabloids prepared to ask a judge to toss the lawsuit he brought with several other high-profile people. They allege phone tapping and other invasions of privacy.
It is believed that the 38-year-old is staying with friends while in town, a source told Fox News Digital.
“Harry’s trip to London has one goal and one goal only – he is entirely focused on the legal cases he and Meghan Markle are pursuing against the U.K. press,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital. “He apparently has no plans to try and smooth things over with his brother, William, or his father, the king.”
Andersen claimed that Harry’s relationship with his family is deeply fractured following the publication of his explosive memoir, “Spare,” in January. In it, the father of two detailed his struggles with royal life.
“Even if Harry did wish to reconcile ahead of the coronation, it’s highly doubtful he’d get a warm reception,” Andersen shared. “William appears to have thrown up his hands in disgust. Charles III is still furious over Harry’s devastating portrayal of his wife, Camilla, as a villainous schemer in his bombshell memoir.”
PRINCE HARRY MAKES COURT APPEARANCE IN CASE AGAINST BRITISH TABLOIDS
Harry’s presence at the High Court is a sign of the importance he attaches to the case, one of several lawsuits the Duke of Sussex has brought against the media. The hearing is expected to last four days.
The case alleges Associated Newspapers Ltd., which publishes titles that include the Daily Mail, commissioned the “breaking and entry into private property” and engaging in unlawful acts that included hiring private investigators to bug homes and cars and record private phone conversations.
“They were the victim of numerous unlawful acts carried out by the defendant, or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday,” attorney David Sherborne said in a court document.
While Harry wages war against the British press, the royal family is nowhere to be seen. According to royal experts, William and his family are on vacation. The Prince and Princess of Wales are known to escape Anmer Hall, their country home, whenever their three children are off from school.
King Charles is embarking on his royal trip to Germany on Wednesday alongside the queen consort, Camilla. The couple was originally scheduled to be in France this week, but that leg of the tour was postponed due to ongoing riots in the country.
“Harry isn’t expected to see any of his family,” royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Fox News Digital. He pointed out that this is Harry’s first visit to his home country since Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September.
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“The rift between the Sussexes and the royal family runs deep,” Fitzwilliams said. “The king is not in London and there are no plans for a meeting. William and [Kate Middleton] are away with their children for the Easter holidays.”
“Harry’s animosity toward Fleet Street, which is born of the misguided notion that somehow the press was solely responsible for causing his mother’s death, runs so deep,” Andersen said. “There was simply no way he was going to miss the opportunity to confront the top brass of Britain’s biggest tabloids in person.”
Royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that Harry was not required to make an appearance. However, he wanted to send a clear message to the U.K. press. He previously described how he wanted to change the U.K. media landscape. Others involved in the suit include Elton John, a close friend of his late mother’s, as well as his husband David Furnish, along with actresses Sadie Frost and Elizabeth Hurley, among others.
The allegations date back to 1993 and continue beyond 2018, Sherborne said. However, the publisher said the claims are too old to be brought now and should also be thrown out because they rely on information the newspapers turned over in confidentiality for a 2012 probe into media lawbreaking.
“Phone hacking or any other unjust means of gathering of information under the auspices of reporting in the public interest are a clear invasion of privacy,” Felton Spence explained. “Harry is not legally required to be there today, but he is using an appearance to raise the profile of the case.”
“[But] is it a coincidence that his family is all out of town at the same time? No. Nothing is a coincidence,” she said. “William and Catherine are away on vacation with the kids and the king is on a tour to Europe. [And] it is interesting he traveled to the U.K. to make an appearance, especially given his ongoing battle with the home office over security. One has to assume there were other tasks to attend to – including Frogmore Cottage and any meetings regarding the coronation in just a few weeks.”
PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE’S EVICTION ‘TIP OF THE ICEBERG’ IN KING CHARLES’ PLANS TO SLIM MONARCHY: REPORT
Royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital that Charles, 74, will want to keep matters concerning his son private.
“King Charles is both a father and a king,” Sacerdoti explained. “He has to balance these two responsibilities and will want to act correctly in both roles, but one of those roles is private, and understandably he appears, therefore, to prefer dealing with it out of the view of the public. Harry and Meghan have spoken repeatedly about the intrusions they feel have been made into their lives, so I expect private family conversations are better all around.”
“Harry has spoken openly about various private matters, from internal family discussions to previously unknown details of his military career,” he said. “These have not been without controversy and have caused problems for the royal family. It’s understandable, then, if they try their best to handle family matters quietly.”
“Harry and Meghan’s record so far shows they maybe don’t understand the negative effect their actions are having on their family, including possibly their children, who might one day find the public over-sharing problematic,” Sacerdoti continued. “They’ve done so much so publicly; I think it’s likely the royal family will be careful about what is said and done to avoid making things any worse. The king will want to focus publicly at least on his role as monarch and on his upcoming coronation. That is where his public actions will be focused, and I think that’s probably a wise move.”
It’s still unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be in the U.K. for the king’s coronation. On March 5, a spokesperson for the Sussexes confirmed that Harry received “email correspondence” from the king’s office about the coronation.
“An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time,” the couple’s office said in a statement.
PRINCE WILLIAM’S CHILDREN TO PARTICIPATE IN KING’S CORONATION; PRINCE HARRY’S KIDS YET TO BE INVITED
That same week, the Sussexes also acknowledged that they were asked to vacate Frogmore Cottage, their U.K. home. The Sun newspaper reported that Charles asked them to relinquish the dwelling on Jan. 11, the day after Harry’s memoir was published. According to reports, the couple has until early summer to vacate.
The coronation is scheduled for May 6, shortly before a significant date for Harry.
“Interestingly enough, Harry’s separate privacy case against the Mirror Group is set to begin in London on May 9 – three days after the coronation,” said Andersen. “Will Harry try to kill two birds with one stone and return to London for both? Or will he skip the coronation but return only a matter of days later to appear for the court case? That would send the message that he prioritizes his own legal troubles over what is a singular moment in British history – quite the slap in the face to the rest of the royal family.”
“As things look now, it seems increasingly likely that Harry will miss the coronation and perhaps show up for the Mirror case at a later date, since that case is supposed to last six or seven weeks,” Andersen added.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020, citing what they described as unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They now live in California.
Harry has said he wants to make reforming the British media his life’s work. In “Spare,” he blamed an overly aggressive press for the 1997 death of his mother and also accused the media of hounding his wife.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.