King Charles Meets David Beckham, Snubs Prince Harry: Report

Royal family's garden party overshadowed by internal strife.

by Nouman Rasool
King Charles Meets David Beckham, Snubs Prince Harry: Report
© John Sibley - WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a week dominated by royal engagements and royal tensions, King Charles III's decision to meet with soccer legend David Beckham while rejecting a rendezvous with his son, Prince Harry, has set off a swirl of speculation and scrutiny.

The news broke after the spokesperson for Prince Harry confirmed that a meeting with his father would be impossible since the monarch's schedule is "full," a claim now under question following the King's meeting with Beckham.

The private meeting of King Charles with Beckham last Friday was described as the two engaging in conversation about the monarch's charity works, particularly King's Foundation. The meeting underlined the King's continuing philanthropy but also came at a moment when it is overshadowed by his relationship with Prince Harry, who was in London for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games—a competition he founded to help wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel.

Royal Garden Discord

Amidst such both domestic and public engagements, the royal family hosted the first garden party of the year at Buckingham Palace, the central event where the vast majority of the monarchy—including Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester—appeared.

The event, since the 1860s, had been a heavily ritualistic one, serving as a resonant homage to community and service, though the event's grandiosity did little to cover up the discord within the family. Another big flare-up came when it was announced that Prince William would take over from King Charles as the colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps, a post that has sentimental value to Harry, having been in the regiment until 2014.This decision, described by royal expert Ian Pelham Turner as "another slap in the face" for Harry, has intensified the public discourse around the perceived rift within the royal family.

Turner criticized the King's decision to avoid a meeting with Prince Harry, suggesting that concerns over potential revelations in future memoirs do not justify the ongoing estrangement. He argued that such decisions only "add petrol to the flames" of public and personal discontent, highlighting a missed opportunity for reconciliation at a time when unity could have been showcased.

King Charles David Beckham Prince Harry