And just like that, Prince Harry's all-too-brief sojourn back to the UK came to a close this week.
On Tuesday, California time, Harry touched down in Los Angeles with paparazzi pictures of the royal beetling out of the airport's VIP terminal hitting the net within the blink of an eye.
In the end, after all the media hand-wringing (what, moi?) and frenzied press coverage of the princely pariah's return to the royal bosom for his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral, Harry only spent eight days back in his former home country, five of which he had to spend sequestered away in his once marital home, Frogmore Cottage.
However, as the dust settles here, what is marked is that Harry not only returned to the US without any sort of one-on-one meeting with his father but seemingly chose to jet back 24 hours before his grandmother the Queen's 95th birthday.
Last Saturday, the day of Philip's funeral, the monarch cut a forlorn and tragic figure, forced to sit through the service bidding her husband of 73 years farewell, away from her family, isolated and alone.
Even the stoniest of Republican hearts experienced a serious tugging of the heartstrings at the immediately iconic images of the nonagenarian stoically sitting in the quire of St George's Chapel on her lonesome.
No man is an island, but a sovereign mourning the loss of her "strength and stay" is, it would seem.
Which is why her grandson's decision to depart the UK before her milestone day, her first in 75 years without Philip by her side, is so consequential.
After more than a year away, a year that has seen perhaps irreparable damage done to the fabric of the house of Windsor, that Harry chose not to be there for Her Majesty this week is hard to swallow.
It was reported ahead of her birthday that she would enjoy a private lunch, possibly with the family members who live closest to Windsor Castle, namely the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
That Harry was not part of that number is significant.
Instead, he made a transatlantic dash back to Meghan, who is expecting their second child in the coming months, and their nearly 2-year-old son Archie.
The obvious question is, why not stay another 24 hours? Why not be there – even simply in socially distanced solidarity- for his grandmother at such an emotional moment?
To which the most obvious conclusion is, Harry didn't care how his exit would play in the UK press or with the public.
Beyond the personal, familial implications of his evacuation of sorts, his leaving telegraphs what looks suspiciously like wholesale disregard for public opinion and a dearth of interest in trying to sway the hoi polloi back to his side.
What this birthday situation would suggest is that Harry has little or no interest in trying to improve his tarnished image back in the UK or to try and remedy his dire standing with the Brits.
In March, Harry and Meghan hit new lows in terms of their public approval, with both the duke and duchess sliding into negative figures. (That is, the percentage of people with a negative view of each of them outstrips the percentage with a positive view).
For a man who only a handful of years ago was regularly voted the most popular member of the royal family, only occasionally vying with his grandmother for the top spot, this is a stunning fall from grace.
In his 20s and 30s, Harry was able to bask in the warm glow of near universal public adoration, his naughty boy antics largely overlooked in the face of his unswerving commitment to Queen and country, including two tours on the frontline in Afghanistan.
Then came the upheaval and tumult of his marriage to Meghan with reports of brotherly rifts and feuding duchesses.
By the time controversy over things like the $4 million renovation of Frogmore, their son Archie's christening and their new-found taste for private jet travel hit in 2019, that vast well of public support started to evaporate, with the drama culminating in their climactic quitting of the firm in January 2020.
Watching Harry and Meghan's Oprah Winfrey TV special last month, his anger and hurt was all too evident, the wounds of the last few years clearly still raw.
And yet even so … it is still surprising and a touch sad that at a moment such as this, in the wake of Philip's death, Harry's hard line view towards his homeland does not seem to have softened.
In short: He doesn't seem to care what Brits think of him.
Nor does he seem to have any intention of waging any sort of hearts-and-minds campaign, even any sort of anaemic, half-hearted one.
The unavoidable conclusion seems to be, Harry's focus is now solely on his new life in California and winning over Americans.
The two high-profile business deals he and Meghan have made (Netflix and Spotify), the tech job he has taken (chief impact officer at a billion-dollar mentoring "start-up") and his signing on as a Commissioner for a prestigious think tank's Orwellian-sounding Misinformation Commission are all West Coast-based.
Protestations he should be allowed to keep his honorary military titles aside (a request the Queen denied), Harry has not made any sort of large scale overture towards Britain since he left 15 months ago.
This week's events are simply icing on that unfortunate sugar and gluten-free cake. (He is a Californian now. Whether he will ever see a loaf of white sliced bread again is another question altogether.) The sad fact is, the UK just does not seem to really figure in Harry's new life.
For a country that came together and united in jubilation over his wedding to Meghan back in 2018, that must be hard to swallow.
After having spent more than a year away from the UK because of Covid, Harry is set to make another trip back across the pond in late June. On July 1, he and brother Prince William will stand side by side to unveil the statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales on what would have been her 60th birthday.
You can't choose your family, or so the saying goes. But what Harry can choose is whether he wants to mend bridges and try and improve relations with his titled relatives – them and 65 million other Brits.
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years' experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.