Her announcement sent shockwaves around the world. “It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family,” Princess Kate Middleton shared in an emotional March 22 video, after spending three months out of the public eye while recuperating from major abdominal surgery. “At the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present.”

It was around 7 a.m. more than 5,000 miles away in Montecito, California, when her video was posted — and Prince Harry learned about her condition like everyone else. “He and Meghan [Markle] were completely blindsided by the news,” a source exclusively tells In Touch. The prince had just visited London on February 6 to see his father, Charles, who had also revealed he was being treated for cancer. “At the time, he knew Kate had been in surgery, but Harry had no idea how bad it was.”

That’s how the princess wanted it, says the source. After Harry blabbed the details of multiple text messages, phone calls and private conversations with his family — both in interviews and in his memoir, Spare, “he simply can’t be trusted with news this sensitive,” says the source. Kate didn’t go public right away because “it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.”

The announcement was planned to coincide with the spring school holiday. “She was focused on their well-being and her healing. The last thing she needed was to worry about her health issues getting leaked.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton Have Privacy Concerns

Harry and Meghan issued a statement the day the news broke: “We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.” They have also reached out to Kate, adds the source, “but their conversations are usually brief. She and William have been careful not to say anything too personal. Kate has her Harry and Meghan rules. One of them is no contact means no drama.”

Kate Middleton, Prince William Feel Harry ‘Can’t Be Trusted’
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate and William’s concern about Harry’s discretion is ironic, considering the prince has railed against the British press for spying on his phone and accused his fellow royals of collaborating with reporters. “The level of planting and leakings from the family means that in my mind, they have written countless books, certainly millions of words have been dedicated to trying to trash my wife and myself,” Harry said in 2023, defending his decision to tell all.

The decision to shut him out of this health crisis only highlights how deep the rift between them has grown. “This is obviously a really trying time for William, so it’s especially heartbreaking that he can’t even lean on his own brother for support,” says the source. “It’s clear they’ll never be close again.”

Harry’s Betrayal Cut Deep

“I love my family,” Harry has insisted, but since he and Meghan stepped back from their royal roles in 2021, he “rarely talks to any of them,” says the source.

Harry and Meghan’s TV Bombshells

In their explosive 2021 interview on CBS and subsequent Netflix docuseries, Harry and Meghan spoke of Kate’s chilly reception and alleged the palace protected her at Meghan’s expense.

Harry’s Tell-All Book

“It’s my story to tell,” Harry said of exposing years of calls, texts and even violent encounters with William — plus tension between Kate and Meghan — in Spare.

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