Prince Harry dealt another blow as Prince William secures new title

May 09, 2024
The latest setback for Prince Harry follows the disappointment of a much-anticipated reunion with his father, King Charles, being dashed, reportedly due to the Monarch's packed schedule. Source: Getty Images.

In a move that seems to solidify the shifting dynamics within the Royal Family, King Charles has bestowed a prestigious military honour upon Prince William, a decision that was widely anticipated to be in Prince Harry’s favour.

The title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps has been passed to Prince William by King Charles, despite Prince Harry’s notable service with the regiment during his time in Afghanistan.

The announcement comes amid Prince Harry’s visit to the UK for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, a trip that was also marred by the news that a long-awaited reunion with his father, King Charles, will not be possible due to the Monarch’s busy schedule.

The palace’s statement regarding the transfer of the title emphasised the King’s pleasure in appointing William to the role, a position previously held by the Monarch himself for an impressive 31 years.

“His Majesty the King will officially hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,” the palace’s statement read.

“In August 2023, following His Majesty’s Accession, the King was pleased to announce military appointments including that the Prince of Wales would become Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.

“The role was previously held by His Majesty the King, as Prince of Wales, for 31 years.”

The latest setback for Prince Harry follows the disappointment of a much-anticipated reunion with his father, King Charles, being dashed, reportedly due to the Monarch’s packed schedule.

Speculation was rife that Harry’s recent visit might pave the way for a reconciliation with his father, especially given the latter’s health issues. King Charles, 75, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, prompting a brief reunion with his son in February.

However, hopes for a continued thaw in their relationship were dashed after a spokesperson for Prince Harry confirmed that a meeting between father and son would not be possible this time around.

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full programme,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday, May 7.

“The duke of course is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

While Harry’s team expressed understanding regarding the King’s busy schedule, the decision to forgo a meeting with his own son has raised eyebrows and stirred commentary among royal experts.

Renowned royal commentator Michael Cole characterised the development as a “right royal flea in the ear” from King Charles to Prince Harry.

“Harry will have got the message that he has got the brush off,” Cole told GB News.

“A lot of people will say about time and rightly so.”

Cole described the King’s decision as “extraordinary”, highlighting the significance of the Monarch declining to meet with his own son, who holds the title of fifth in line to the throne. He noted that such a move sends a clear message, echoing the repercussions of the remarks made by Harry and Meghan in recent years.

“This is a right royal flea in the ear from the King to his youngest son, fifth in line to the throne, Prince Harry,” he said.

“It’s extraordinary, this is big medicine, for the King to say ‘my diary is too full’, that is the sort of thing you say to people you hardly know.

“In this world, words have consequences and the thing Harry and Meghan have been saying over the years have gone home to not only the King, but Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate.”

Prince Harry, along with his wife Meghan Markle, have found themselves at odds with the Royal Family since their decision to step down from official duties in 2020. The couple’s relocation to Los Angeles and continued public attacks aimed at The Firm has only widened the gulf between them and the rest of the royals, with reports suggesting that Harry is barely on speaking terms with his elder brother.

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