Prince Harry Likely Found Out About His Father King Charles’ Health Scare the Same Way the Rest of Us Did

New year, same reported breakdowns in communication.

King Charles and Prince Harry at a royal engagement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In his bombshell book Endgame, Omid Scobie revealed that Prince Harry allegedly found out about his grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s death via an alert from the BBC News app upon landing in Scotland, en route to her on her deathbed. Now, according to The Daily Mail, Harry learned about his father King Charles’ health issue from the media, as well. (Charles will be hospitalized next week to treat an enlarged prostate, Buckingham Palace said in a statement released on January 17.)

Though The Daily Mail reports that Harry was reportedly informed about Charles’ health news by the Palace, The Telegraph reports that he is thought to have seen it reported in the media before that communication occurred. 

King Charles and Prince Harry walking together

(Image credit: Getty)

Harry and wife Meghan Markle have so far remained silent over the news regarding his father’s health scare and the health scare of his sister-in-law, the Princess of Wales, who underwent a planned abdominal surgery on January 16 and will remain in hospital for up to two weeks, pausing her royal duties until after Easter, which falls on March 31 this year. However, the lack of a statement from the Sussexes is in line with the rest of the royal family, who have also been largely silent, save for Queen Camilla acknowledging the question of how Charles is doing with a simple “He’s fine, thank you very much. Looking forward to getting back to work,” People reports.

The Mirror reports that “Prince Harry may not have found out about King Charles’ prostate diagnosis before the news was made public, it is understood.” The outlet added that Harry “may have seen news alerts about the health scare before any private message, it is said, despite Buckingham Palace’s best efforts to inform all senior members of the royal family. It is believed this included a message to Prince Harry but the public announcement was made on Wednesday at 3:25 p.m. U.K. time, which is 7:25 a.m. in California.” The news about Kate’s health preceded the news about Charles by roughly 90 minutes, meaning that news would have broken around 6 a.m. California time. 

King Charles and Prince Harry at a royal engagement

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry kisses King Charles on the cheek

(Image credit: Getty)

In his memoir, Spare, released a year ago, Harry wrote of the breakdown in communication on September 8, 2022, “When the plane started to descend, I saw that my phone lit up. It was a message from Meg: ‘Call me when you get this.’ I looked at the BBC website. My grandmother had died. My father was King.”

However, in his new book The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, royal biographer Robert Hardman cited Palace staff as saying that Charles had been urgently trying to reach Harry but couldn’t because he was in the air: “There were repeated attempts to get through to him, but no calls were going through because Harry was airborne,” the Palace official said.

Both the King and the Princess of Wales are expected to make full recoveries.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.