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Prince Harry Learning of Kate Middleton’s Cancer on TV ‘Speaks Volumes’ on Royal Family Dynamic

Prince Harry reportedly learned of Kate Middleton cancer diagnosis on TV
Karwai Tang/WireImage; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

News of Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis came as a shock to many — including, reportedly, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle.

“It speaks volumes that Harry and Meghan learnt of the diagnosis from the news,” royal historian Richard Fitzwilliams told TIME in an article published on Monday, March 25. “The brothers reportedly haven’t been in contact for months and trust has completely broken down.”

Kate, 42, revealed in a social media video on Friday, March 22, that doctors discovered she had cancer following an abdominal surgery she underwent in January. “My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment,” she shared.

Before Kate’s video was released, rumors swirled online about the Princess of Wales’ condition and her whereabouts, as her latest public royal appearance was in December 2023. Earlier this month, it was reported that Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, had been kept out of the loop about Kate’s health. The Times of London reported on Saturday, March 23, that Kate’s cancer news was not “shared in advance” with the couple.

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In a statement shared with Us Weekly on Friday, Harry and Meghan wrote that they “wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.” (Kate shares kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, with Harry’s brother, Prince William.)

That same day, a source exclusively told Us that Kate and William, 41, learned of her diagnosis the day William was set to attend his godfather King Constantine of Greece’s memorial service on February 27. Queen Camilla and Princess Anne were present at the service in place of King Charles III, who was diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer earlier that month. Charles, 75, has since returned to royal duties while undergoing treatment and has hosted several events at Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry reportedly learned of Kate Middleton cancer diagnosis on TV
ul Grover- WPA Pool/Getty Images

According to Fitzwilliams, Kate and Charles’ cancer diagnoses could be the catalyst for Harry and Meghan mending their strained relationship with the royal family. “A serious illness can change everything and bring families together,” he explained to TIME. “This may happen. Harry will return to see his father and perhaps the brothers will see each other.”

He continued: “It could open the path to reconciliation in the weeks and months ahead. However, it is unlikely at the moment.”

Harry and Meghan have had many ups and downs with the royal family over the years, some of which stem from revelations made in Harry’s 2023 bombshell memoir, Spare. Following news of Charles’ cancer diagnosis, Harry traveled to London to visit his father.

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I love my family,” Harry said during an appearance on Good Morning America last month. “The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.”

While Harry’s relationship with Charles is seemingly on the mend, his dynamic with Kate appears to still be rocky. “I’m sure he’s concerned about her as well, but I know that she wants to have nothing to do with them,” royal expert Christopher Andersen exclusively told Us earlier this month.

“They’re both on opposite sides of this wall and nobody has the courage to leap over it and really make an honest attempt,” he continued, noting that Harry has been given the “cold shoulder” by Kate during recent visits to the U.K. “I think he fears it’ll just be the same situation all over.”

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