Prince Harry bolts back to LA for Archie’s belated birthday celebrations

The Duke of Sussex has returned to California after catching a British Airways flight just hours after his father’s coronation ended.

Harry arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at around 7.30pm local time (3.30am UK), just in time to reunite with his son on his birthday.

Prince Archie turned four on Saturday, the same day as King Charles’s coronation, and spent the day with his mother, the Duchess of Sussex, at their home in Montecito, California.

Read our live coverage of the coronation weekend here.

British Airways flight attendants confirmed to the PA news agency that Harry had been on the flight.

The duke’s appearance at the coronation marked his first public appearance alongside the royals since he criticised his family in his controversial tell-all memoir Spare.

He was seated in the third row for the crowning of Charles and the duke’s stepmother the Queen in Westminster Abbey, and was placed two rows behind his brother the Prince of Wales.

Prince Harry arrived at the coronation alone, after flying inbound on an American Airlines commercial flight.

He was seen smiling at several points throughout the service, and was seated near a heavily pregnant Princess Eugenie, and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall and Anne, the Princess Royal. He was also sat in the same row as Prince Andrew.

Prince Harry wore a Dior suit to the coronation (Getty Images)
Prince Harry wore a Dior suit to the coronation (Getty Images)

Harry arrived alone at the event and did not appear to have any interaction with his brother, William.

He seemed in good spirits, though, chatting with Beatrice’s husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and was also photographed smiling widely at Princess Anne as he took his seat in the third row in the Abbey.

It is understood the duke wore what he was asked to wear, which consisted of a dark morning suit and tie, his Afghanistan and Jubilee medals pinned to his suit jacket, and a Royal Victorian Order star and neck decoration. Fashion house Dior later confirmed that Prince Harry wore a formal Dior look specifically designed for the royal.

During the service, as the congregation paid homage to the King, Harry was seen, along with the other royals around him, speaking the words: “God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the King live forever.”

After the service, the Duke of Sussex quickly got into a car with a blank expression on his face after leaving Westminster Abbey. Harry‘s vehicle, which had blacked-out windows, followed the coronation procession back towards Buckingham Palace.

His abrupt return to the US meant he did not appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the finale of the day, with the Palace confirming earlier that day that he had no formal role at the event.

Prince Harry has lived in the United States with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, and their children, Archie and Lilibet, since he stepped down from his position as a senior royal in 2020.

With additional reporting from PA.