Prince Harry hopeful King’s cancer could bring royal family closer

February 19, 2024 - 5:19 PM
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Prince Harry
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walks outside the Rolls Building of the High Court in London, Britain June 6, 2023. (Reuters/Toby Melville/File Photo)

LONDON — King Charles’s cancer diagnosis could bring the British royal family closer, his estranged son Prince Harry said in an interview on Friday, adding that he loved his family and was grateful to have recently seen his father.

Buckingham Palace revealed earlier this month that Charles, on the throne for a year and a half since the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, had been diagnosed with a form of cancer and would postpone public engagements to undergo treatment.

Harry, who fell out with the rest of the family after he and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties and moved to California, flew to London on hearing the news and had a brief meeting with his father, before returning to the U.S.

When asked if illness can have a reunifying effect on a family, and if that was possible in the royal family’s case, Harry said: “Yeah, I’m sure.”

“Throughout all these families I see it on a day-to-day basis — the strength of the family unit coming together,” he told Good Morning America, speaking at an event in Canada linked to the Invictus Games for injured military veterans.

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“Any illness, any sickness, brings families together,” Harry said in a snippet of the interview aired by the ABC network on Friday.

Taking U.S. citizenship? 

Harry’s autobiography “Spare” last year contained damning revelations about his father and elder brother, while a Netflix documentary series he made with Meghan also made a series of disclosures about their time in the royal family.

“I love my family. 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,” Harry told GMA.

He was also asked if he felt American, to which he responded with a “no”, before adding “I don’t know how I feel”. But he said he had considered becoming a U.S. citizen.

“The American citizenship is a thought that has crossed my mind but certainly not something that’s a high priority for me right now,” he said.

Asked how it was to be in the U.S. when there was so much happening with his family in Britain, he said: “I have my own family, as we all do. My family and my life in California is as it is.

“I’ve got other trips planned that would take me through the UK or back to the UK, so I’ll stop and see my family as much as I can.”

While the royal family tends to keep medical matters private, the palace said Charles had chosen to go public as he was patron of a number of cancer-related charities. The palace has not given any further details beyond saying tests had revealed the king had a “form of cancer”.

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Since the announcement Charles, who will continue with his private duties including his weekly audience with the prime minister, has been photographed travelling between his homes in London and eastern England, waving to onlookers.

— Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Muvija M; Editing by William James and Alex Richardson