Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Will the King’s Health Crisis Bring William and Harry Back Together?

By Michael Feb 14, 2024

On February 6, one day after Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer, Prince Harry traveled to the U.K. for a brief 24-hour trip to see his ailing father.

“Harry was focused on catching up and spending quality time together,” says a source, noting that the meeting — which took place at Clarence House, Charles and Queen Camilla’s London home — was “amicable and warm.” Adds a second source: “Charles was extremely touched by Harry’s gesture.”

Members of the royal inner circle are hopeful Harry and Charles’ meetup marks a first step toward a reconciliation between father and 
son and the family at large. Harry, 39, and wife Meghan Markle, 42, have been on the outs with his 75-year-old father as well as his brother, Prince William, 41, and Kate Middleton, 42, since leaving the U.K. in early 2020.

The first source says recent royal health issues — Kate, who shares Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, with William, is still recuperating from a planned abdominal surgery on January 17 — may just be the catalyst for a truce. “They can use this as a starting point,” says the source. “The consensus is that life is too short, and there’s hope this will lead to repairing the rift.”

WireImage (2)

The distance between Harry and his relatives has grown considerably since he and Meghan made their dramatic move to America, branded “Megxit” in the press. In 2021, the pair sat down for a bombshell TV interview in which they accused a royal family member of racism and openly discussed Meghan and Kate’s infamous fight over Charlotte’s flower girl dress leading up to their 2018 wedding.

Prince Harry and Father King Charles III’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

In their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, the duo alleged that “the institution” had fueled negative stories in the British press, and in Harry’s 2023 memoir, Spare, he accused his brother of physically attacking him during a 2019 argument over Meghan.

Charles and Camilla appeared in good spirits at Sandringham Estate on Feb. 11. Karwai Tang/WireImage

Despite the depths of the rift, Harry and Charles have been slowly but surely reconnecting in recent months. A third source tells Us Charles has been “eager to make up with Harry for a while.”

Prince Harry’s Quotes About Reconciling With Royal Family Amid Feud

The second source says their recent reunion was an emotional one. “Harry jumped on the first plane possible,” shares the source. “Meghan was in total agreement that Harry had to be there. He got to tell his father how much he loves him and get a fuller account of what Charles is facing.”

William attempted to give his baby brother a helping hand as he took his first steps in 1985. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Amid chatter that Harry’s short trip was a PR move, the first source says the brevity was “primarily due to the discomfort Harry feels in that environment.” According to the second source, it’s also “tough” for Harry to be away from Meghan and their two kids, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, for long stretches of time.

Sources say Meghan is all for mending fences. “Meghan has contacted Kate and Charles,” reveals the first source. “So moves are being made to reconcile.” Adds the second source: “Meghan is supportive of Harry in all of this, and she wishes the royals — Kate included — the very best.”

William, Kate and Harry banded together to spearhead a mental health campaign in 2016. Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Royal Foundation

Kate is also on board… to a point. “Kate is open to reconciling, though with Harry more so than Meghan,” says the third source. “She still has some hurt feelings over what Meghan did to her and Charlotte. There is work to do, but she’s willing to move forward.”

Prince William and Prince Harry’s Complicated Relationship Over the Years

The second source says Kate will ultimately follow her husband’s lead. “Kate would be open to making nice if William wanted to, but she won’t meddle. She has faith that the situation will resolve itself in time.” The source adds that the mom of three “really misses Harry. She always saw him as a brother figure.”

The brothers shook hands after competing against each other in a 2011 polo match. Indigo/Getty Images

Harry’s connection to his older brother remains strained. “William loves Harry, but the past few years have been very difficult for him,” says the second source. “The sad reality is that it’s impossible for him just to forget all those spiteful and vindictive attacks Harry made against him and the monarchy.”

The first source says Harry isn’t pushing it: “He won’t give up, but the ball is in William’s court.”

The teen princes posed for a pic with their dad during a ski trip to Klosters, Switzerland, in 2000. Ken Goff/Getty Images

Charles is the most invested in putting an end to the family feud. While the first source says doctors “caught the cancer early,” the health scare has made him take stock of how much time he has left and what matters most in life. “It’s Charles’ greatest wish for the family to be on good terms again,” adds the second source. “Health and peace are his top priorities.”

By Michael

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