Following the ceremony, he slipped out of Westminster Abbey – accompanied by a Metropolitan police escort and four outriders – with only the briefest of goodbyes and headed straight for Heathrow Airport.
He was back on the plane to California before his father and stepmother, the newly crowned queen, had even finished having their official portraits taken.
Harry’s British Airways flight from Heathrow direct to Los Angeles landed just before 6:30pm local time.
The idea was that he would be back in time for his four-year-old son Archie’s fourth birthday party.
Prince Harry was back in California after spending just 28 hours and 42 minutes in the United Kingdom to witness his father, King Charles’ Coronation on Saturday. His flight is seen arriving
Prince Harry was picked up in a black SUV and whisked away to his Montecito home
Harry’s security drove his Range Rover an hour and a half to the uber-exclusive Private Suites hanger at LAX
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was pictured at London Heathrow beaming as he raced to board his flight while clutching his phone and some documents.
Prince Harry flashed a Hollywood-worthy smile at Heathrow today as he prepared to jet back to California after an awkward appearance at his father’s coronation
But despite getting a chauffeured ride from the airport in a black Range Rover SUV, it is doubtful he would have been back with his wife and children much before the kids bedtime.
Montecito, California, where the family live is almost 100 miles away from Los Angeles and a good two hour drive even at the best of times given the unpredictability of LA traffic.
For months, he had kept the British public – not to mention his own family – on tenterhooks with a cat and mouse guessing game over his attendance.
And in the end, it was truly a blink or you’ll miss it moment.
At the main event he was obscured by Princess Anne’s feathered plume from the cameras for most of the ceremony.
After it was all over, he headed straight for the airport and was pictured smiling broadly as he arrived at Heathrow’s Windsor suite before his flight, still in morning suit and sporting his medals.
Harry was whisked from the plane to his personal Range Rover which waited for him at LAX
The prince was picked up from the Private Suites area of the airport
Harry then faced a nearly two hour drive north back to Montecito where he now lives
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex was earlier seen arriving at the Windsor Suite in a police convoy before leaving on a British Airways flight from LHR to LAX
Harry had long been expected to swiftly return to his wife Meghan Markle in Montecito so they could celebrate the birthday of their son Archie, who turned four on Saturday
Harry, 38, had not been expected to play any part in the coronation celebrations apart from his brief appearance at Westminster Abbey.
Sources tell the Daily Mail that there were no plans for him to join the procession, take part in the private family lunch or even appear in any of the official or unofficial photographs.
The prince was not seen once after it was said he flew in on a scheduled American Airlines flight to Heathrow on Friday morning while the rest of the family were undertaking multiple ‘Eve of Coronation’ duties in London.
On Saturday morning, he left Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor home he and Meghan once shared, almost certainly for the last time after his father’s decision to evict them, just before 9.30am in a BMW with blacked-out windows.
He entered Westminster Abbey alongside his non-working royal cousins – Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Lurking at the back of the group, Harry could be seen chatting to Beatrice and her husband, Edo Mapelli Mozzi.
Moment the Duke of Sussex , 38, told Jack Brooksbank he would be ‘heading off’ as they took their seats inside Westminster Abbey, before saying the words ‘airport’, according to a professional lip reader
Prince Harry looks on at his brother Prince William in the front row during the coronation of their father King Charles III at Westminster Abbey
Harry pulls an awkward face as he takes his seat inside Westminster Abbey
Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, probably now the closest family members to Harry, turned round with big smiles.
Like the other non-working royals, Harry dressed in a morning suit with medals and the KCVO – Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order – given to him by Queen Elizabeth round his neck.
But he was forced to make his way, somewhat awkwardly, down the Nave in the full view of the congregation on his own.
The prince turned twice, once to his right and then to his left and smiled at someone he recognized.
But he quietly took his seat three rows from the front in the South Lantern.
The front row was reserved for the Prince of Wales – his brother, wife and their children, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
As the historic ceremony drew to a close, Harry left through the Great West Door and, with the same police outriders accompanying him, headed back straight to Heathrow.
11 hours and 5,440 miles later, and a world away from the celebrations in London, he was back in the Golden State, ready to resume his ‘California dreamin” once more.
Prince Harry walking down the aisle by himself inside Westminster Abbey
Prince Harry leaves Westminster Abbey after the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey
Harry walks alone upon leaving Westminster Abbey following the Coronation
Harry is all smiles as he departs the Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey