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King Charles will miss Prince Harry’s London visit to go hiking

By Sarah May
|
June 1, 2023

In what could be interpreted as something of a snub, King Charles will be out of the country this week during a visit to the U.K. from his estranged son, Prince Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, as the Daily Mail reports.

Rather than remaining in London while his youngest child is in town, the monarch will instead be off on a hiking holiday in Romania, marking the second time in recent weeks the two have been in close proximity, yet have not had any sort of meeting.

Romanian Getaway

Perhaps still recuperating from the historic coronation festivities that took place early last month, King Charles is setting out for what is an annual pilgrimage to the Eastern European country in which he is reported to own no fewer than 10 properties.

The Telegraph indicated that the trip on which the royal will embark this week will span five days and will take him to Transylvania, where he is said to have familial ties dating back centuries.

Speaking about his admiration for the area around the Carpathian Mountains, Charles has been quoted as saying, “There is a sense of age-old continuity here. A virtuous circle where man and nature are in balance.”

Charles is slated to stay in the guest house of an estate he owns near the village of Viscri, and there he will bask in traditional furnishings and a notable absence of distractions such as television and radio.

Harry Heads to London

Just as his father will be enjoying the natural splendor of his Romanian vacation, Harry will be in London for proceedings at the High Court in a case involving his phone hacking claims against Mirror Group Newspapers, as the Independent reports.

This particular court battle is part of a host of litigation in which Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are currently involved, with the duke most recently losing a bid for judicial review of the British Home Office's decision to deny him the option of paying for armed police protection while in the U.K, as the BBC has reported.

As Newsweek notes, Harry's aforementioned loss at the High Court may not bode well for his prospects of success in the remaining cases in which he is embroiled, and as some experts have suggested, he is likely to face significant legal bills even if he wins – and perhaps truly massive ones should he lose.

U.K.-based lawyer Mark Stephens has gone so far as to suggest that should Harry go down to defeat in all of his currently pending matters, he could end up on the hook for costs between $15 million and $20 million – a tally some observers think is well out of reach for someone who is reportedly nowhere near as wealthy as he appears.

Visa Questions Persis

Adding to Harry's troubles is the fact that the Heritage Foundation has sued the U.S. government in a bid to obtain records relating to the visa application he would have submitted prior to moving to the U.S. back in 2020, as CBS News notes.

The conservative think tank is seeking information on whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) followed proper protocols with regard to Harry's immigration status, given his voluminous admissions of prior drug use – something which could well be disqualifying for rank-and-file visa applicants.

In its legal complaint, the Heritage Foundation said, “Widespread and continuous media coverage has surfaced the question of whether DHS properly admitted the Duke of Sussex in light of the fact that he has publicly admitted to the essential elements of a number of drug offenses in both the United States and abroad.”

“United States law generally renders such a person inadmissible for entry into the United States,” the foundation further noted, and a hearing on its records request is posed to be heard on Tuesday.

Re-Entry at Risk?

Citing multiple immigration law experts, the Daily Mail recently suggested that, given his aforementioned public acknowledgments of heavy drug use, Harry could theoretically be denied re-entry to the United States at any time -- including on his presumably upcoming return trip from London -- depending on whether or not he made those or similar admissions on his visa application.

If Harry had fessed up to drug use when he initially moved to America, he could not be questioned on the matter and denied entry as result, given that it would become clear that the government had already issued him a waiver to the normal rules. But, if he did not come clean at that time, the potential exists that he could be turned away, even if he was never convicted of a drug offense.

Whether any border official would actually attempt to prevent the Duke of Sussex from entering America, however, is the subject of much doubt, with immigration lawyer Raymond Lahoud opining that Harry is likely the beneficiary of the sort of “kid glove” treatment the Heritage Foundation alleges.

Given the seemingly endless controversies, scandals, and legal entanglements in which Harry is currently embroiled, it may well be that his father's Romanian sojourn is more than just a leisurely summer tradition this time around and is actually a convenient method of sidestepping the difficulties his prodigal son has so often seemed to cause the family.