The Subtle Sign King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis Is Opening The Door For Prince Harry

The world found out King Charles III was diagnosed with cancer on February 5 thanks to a public statement from Buckingham Palace. Reportedly, though, he personally told William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex before that, and Harry is apparently planning to leave California to come and visit his father in the wake of the diagnosis.

King Charles reaching out to Harry personally to tell him the news, instead of letting him find out with the rest of the world, might mean the relationship between King Charles and Harry could be on the mend. Their relationship has been strained ever since Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties in 2020, and while Prince Harry has returned to England a few times since then, including for his father's coronation, there doesn't seem to have been much of an easing of the royal rift. 

We don't know when exactly King Charles told Harry and William; he may have even told them together on a phone call or video chat with Harry, of course, currently living in California. Harry being kept in the loop with regard to his father's health seems like it would be a no-brainer — they're father and son, after all — but it appears to be in stark contrast to how he found out about Queen Elizabeth's death. It's in looking at that difference that we can see hints of a potential reconciliation.

Prince Harry was reportedly kept in the dark about Queen Elizabeth's death

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex found out that his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II had died via a BBC news alert on his phone, according to his memoir, "Spare." Here's what went down: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex happened to be in England in September 2022 when Queen Elizabeth's health took a turn for the worse. Harry's father told him to get up to Balmoral, and specifically, to not bring Meghan, but he apparently did not get an invite to join a number of his family members, including Prince William, on a chartered private flight. Queen Elizabeth died at 3:10 p.m. local time and William and the others landed in Scotland at 3:50 p.m. so it's not as though they got a chance to see the queen before she died and Harry didn't.

Instead the bigger issue was Harry being left to handle things on his own and that he didn't get notification that the queen had died from family. In Omid Scobie's book "Endgame," he wrote that Harry's private flight didn't leave London for Scotland until 5:35 p.m. If the queen died at 3:10 p.m., that meant there would have been time for Harry to have received a call either from his father or his brother (or both) — or at least someone from one of their offices — to let him know that Queen Elizabeth had died. Instead he found out at the same time as the general public.

King Charles might want to reconcile with Prince Harry

The Buckingham Palace statement confirming King Charles III's cancer said he "remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible." So while we don't have any reason to believe that King Charles is on his deathbed in the way that Queen Elizabeth was, it's still clearly a time of stress within the family — anyone who's dealt with a cancer diagnosis of a loved one understands that — and this time, Harry got the notice of it, not from his phone, but from his father. That being said, more could come out later about how Harry found out, but so far, reports are all pointing to him being personally told by his father.

Prince Harry then taking the steps to visit his father speaks to the love he still has for his parent, despite the differences they've had over the years. It also supports what Prince Harry told Anderson Cooper during his 2023 "60 Minutes" interview, when he said, "I look forward to having a relationship with my father and other members of my family." While we know how hard it can be to undergo cancer treatment and how stressful it can be on families, a silver lining could be Harry and his father strengthening their relationship. Harry finding out about it directly from his father certainly seems like a step in that direction.