“Despite their ups and downs, hearing that his dad is sick with a potentially life-threatening illness is a huge wake-up call,” the source says. “And he’s overwhelmed with feelings of guilt for not being closer to home while this is all going on.”
Harry, 35, and wife Meghan Markle announced their plans to step back from their senior royal duties in January. While the couple moved to Canada with their 10-month-old son, Archie, they have since relocated to Los Angeles. The palace confirmed on March 25 that Charles, 71, tested positive for COVID-19. According to the source, Charles told both Harry and Prince William about his diagnosis over the phone.
“During the heart-wrenching call, he confessed to feeling beyond helpless, being over 5,000 miles away in L.A.,” the source says. “Charles tried to calm Harry down by saying he’s OK and that he’s only suffering from mild symptoms, which slightly helped put his mind at ease but he’s [Harry] still worried. Harry’s admitted it’s hit home that Charles and the Queen aren’t going to be around forever.”
The palace announced on Monday, March 30, that Charles is following the government’s restrictions, but “out of self-isolation” after consulting with his doctor.
“Harry tries to keep in regular contact with the Queen and Charles, but due to the 8-hour time difference calls are few and far between,” the source adds. “The royals are desperately trying to rally together amid the pandemic, which is a huge struggle given that they’ve been forced to physically separate.”
On Monday, Harry and Meghan, 38, announced their Instagram account would be inactive. For their last post under Sussex Royal, the duke and duchess shared a note for their followers amid the pandemic.
“What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic,” the couple said. “As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute. While you may not see us here, the work continues.”
For more on Harry’s new struggles, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
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