Prince Harry Faces Another Royal Snub as King Charles Prepares for Surgery

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It wouldn’t be the first snub of this sort, but according to a new report, Prince Harry found out about King Charles’ surgery just like the rest of us: online.

On January 17, 2024, Buckingham Palace formally announced that the 75-year-old monarch would undergo a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate. According to The Telegraph, efforts were made to inform all senior members of the Royal family of his upcoming procedure, including Prince Harry. But as it turns out, the public announcement at 3:25 pm U.K. time may have preceded any private communication with the Duke of Sussex due to the time difference between London and California, where he now lives with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children. This means that Harry might not have found out about his father’s upcoming surgery until the news was already made public.

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If this breakdown in communication is sparking a bit of déjà vu, it may be because the handling of this situation is reminiscent of what happened following Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, when Prince Harry learned about her passing while on a flight to the U.K. The Telegraph reported at the time that the Duke of Sussex was “the last to know” of her death and only found out about it five minutes before the public was informed of her passing. In a rare move, a spokesperson for King Charles responded to those reports, telling the Daily Mail that “the public was only informed after every family member had been informed.”

Adding insult to injury, a new report published on January 18, 2024, by The Times of London revealed that Prince Harry has also been stripped of the opportunity to serve as a Counsellor of State during his father’s upcoming surgery. This designation would have allowed him to step in and perform royal responsibilities on behalf of King Charles as he undergoes his procedure.

While a royal source assured People magazine that King Charles is fully capable of fulfilling his royal duties during this time, the report by The Times uncovered that Prince Harry’s eligibility as a Counsellor of State was quietly nullified following King Charles’ accession to the throne.

The change in eligibility criteria was included in the Counsellors of State Bill 2022-23, which became law in December 2022, and highlighted that only “working members of the Royal Family” would be called upon to act as Counsellors of State. This stipulation, somewhat overlooked at the time, has come into the spotlight again as it was revealed that both Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, despite being technically designated as Counsellors of State, won’t be tapped for the role due to their withdrawal from royal duties. Instead, the piece of legislation named Princess Anne and Prince Edward as lifelong Counsellors of State for King Charles.

Where does that leave Prince Harry and King Charles’ relationship now? Well, despite these recent reports, the last we heard was that the Duke of Sussex still plans to reunite with his father sometime this year. In December 2023, royal author Ingrid Seward revealed to GB News (per The Mirror) that Harry and his wife Meghan made a New Year’s resolution to make amends with the monarch in the new year. “They need the King and his blessing far more than the King needs them,” Seward shared at the time.

For now, it sounds like this reunion won’t be happening in time for the monarch’s surgery—so we’ll simply have to wait and see.

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