Prince Harry returns to US after hacking trial testimony ‘without seeing William or Charles’

The Duke of Sussex has landed back in Los Angeles, after a flying visit to the UK to give evidence in his High Court phone hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Prince Harry, 38, is not thought to have seen his father, the King, or his brother, the Prince of Wales, during his brief trip, despite reportedly staying at the royal residence of Frogmore Cottage.

Harry flew from Los Angeles to London overnight on Sunday (4 June), after spending the day celebrating his daughter Princess Lilbet’s second birthday.

This meant he missed the opening day of his claim against MGN in court, and the judge gave him a rebuke. Justice Fancourt said he was a “little surprised” that the Duke of Sussex was not in court for the first day, according to the BBC.

According to The TelegraphHarry stayed at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor for what is likely to be the last time, since his father King Charles asked the Sussexes to vacate the property just weeks after the publication of Harry’s tell-all memoir, Spare.

In January, it was reported that Charles was evicting the couple from their UK residence, where they had lived as newly weds, and would be offering up the cottage to Prince Andrew instead.

The Duke of York, who has lived at his home Royal Lodge with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson for more than 20 years, is said to be resisting the move. According to sources, the move to Frogmore Cottage is thought to be a downgrade from his current home, which boasts seven bedrooms, a large drawing room and a conservatory.

It comes after Harry laid bare his grievances with the royal family in his memoir, which was released in early January. Among the revelations in the book, he alleged that his brother, the Prince of Wales, physically assaulted him while Charles pleaded with them not to “make my final years a misery” with their feud.

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle moved into the residence after their wedding but it is thought that they will vacate the cottage this Summer.

Prince Harry leaves the High Court in London after he finished giving evidence (PA)

Prince Harry leaves the High Court in London after he finished giving evidence (PA)

When visiting the UK for his father’s coronation last month, Harry left for the US shortly after the ceremony finished, heading straight to Heathrow Airport and arriving back at Los Angeles International Airport that evening. Harry was not seen speaking to interact with his brother William during the day’s events.

The strained relationship between the Sussexes and senior members of the royal family grew more apparent last weekend (6 June) when none of the official Twitter accounts belonging to King Charles and Prince William wished Harry’s daughter Lilibet a happy second birthday.

It was a stark contrast to the mood of last year’s celebrations, when the official Twitter accounts for the royal family, King Charles and Queen Camilla, plus that of the Prince and Princess of Wales, all wished Lilibet a happy first birthday.

A royal expert suggested that the radio silence from senior members of the royal family reflected the “strained relationship” between the King and Lilibet’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

RS Locke, a royal commentator and freelance writer, told The Independents: “King Charles’s decision not to publicly acknowledge his granddaughter’s birthday, nor Prince Archie’s last month, is a reflection of their strained relationship and likely an indication of the social media practices going forward.”