Relations between Prince Harry and his father are clearly worse than ever, says Daily Mail Diary Editor, Richard Eden.
So, Prince Charles could hardly be blamed for not wanting his younger son at his 75th birthday celebrations on Tuesday.
The Palace has announced that close family will get together in the evening after a day spent promoting the King’s campaign to prevent food waste.
However, it seems that neither the Duke nor the Duchess of Sussex will be among the guests.
A family united, with Harry and Meghan on the stage for a celebration of King Charles’s 70th birthday in 2018
The Sussexes had delayed their honeymoon so that they could attend Prince Charles’s 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration at Buckingham Palace
‘The presence of Harry and Meghan at any family gathering now would make it feel like more of a funeral than a celebration,’ writes Eden, in the latest edition of his Palace Confidential newsletter.
Things were very different in 2018 when, as Eden points out, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delayed their honeymoon as a mark of respect.
That decision had allowed them attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in honour of the then Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday and the charities and patronages to which he’d dedicated his adult life.
‘Their delay was seen as a gesture of thanks by Meghan to her new father-in-law, who walked her up the aisle at St George’s Chapel, in the absence of her own father, Thomas Markle,’ writes Eden.
‘When King Charles turns 75 next Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will, however, be 5,000 miles away in California, and his milestone birthday has already been the subject of a public row.
‘This week, a spokesman for Harry and Meghan made a point of denying a line buried in a Sunday Times story that he had been invited to a party to celebrate his father’s birthday and that he had rejected the invitation.
Pictured on the balcony after Trooping the Colour in 2018. Charles and younger son Harry had been close
A troubled Harry attends the State funeral of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
‘The couple had had ‘no contact’ from Buckingham Palace about an invitation, their spokesman insisted.
What’s clear is that relations between the King and his younger son are worse than ever.
‘Harry feels no need to try to mend fences with his father, while the King does not want to be with him on his birthday.
‘Frankly, who can blame him? The presence of Harry and Meghan at any family gathering now would make it feel like more of a funeral than a celebration.’
To read more of Richard’s expert Royal commentary, click here