When Prince Harry jumped on a plane to visit his ailing father, King Charles III, on February 6 — the day after Buckingham Palace revealed the monarch had been diagnosed with cancer — he anticipated an emotional reunion with his estranged dad. But the visit turned out to be a short, 30-minute business-like transaction. “Harry had hoped for a longer meeting, but things were awkward and tense,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “He was hurt, and felt like he’d been brushed aside.”

It’s all part of a royal power play as the crown’s future remains uncertain. According to a palace source, Charles, 75, was “touched” by Harry’s gesture but was reminded by his wife, Queen Camilla, and Harry’s brother and the heir to the throne, Prince William, that Harry is no longer a part of the royal family — and should be treated as such. William is concerned Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, who stepped back from royal duties and moved to the U.S. in 2020, are angling to claim a piece of the $34 billion crown estate and he is determined to persuade their dad to officially cut the rogue royals out of his will. “Charles is not obligated to leave Harry anything,” says the source, “and Camilla and William are urging him not to — they see the Sussexes as greedy fame-seekers who can’t be trusted.”

Charles’ health may be more dire than the palace is letting on. On February 5, Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing a “form of cancer” had been discovered following the monarch’s January 26 surgery for benign prostate enlargement. “Although word is the cancer was caught early, there’s concern it could turn into something worse and possibly spread to other organs, which could be a death sentence,” explains the source.

The king has been putting on a brave face publicly. He was photographed in good spirits on February 11 while attending church with Camilla at their Sandringham estate. “How he feels behind the scenes is another thing,” says the source, adding, “Of course he must be worried.”

The Firm is preparing for the worst, updating plans for his funeral, dubbed Operation Menai Bridge, for example. “Charles understands that it’s the expected thing to do, as he’s the king,” says the source. (Most monarchs’ funeral plans are in place almost as soon as they are crowned.) He’s also getting his estate in order — on March 1, for instance, he’ll be auctioning off his Jaguar I-PACE at the Historics Auctioneers Auction at Ascot racecourse in the U.K.

Meanwhile, he’s doing everything to prolong his reign. In her new royal biography titled My Mother and I, Ingrid Seward reveals Charles sleeps in an oxygen tent to boost his health but has been suffering from short-term memory loss and keeps a notebook in his breast pocket for jotting down important information.

Across the pond, Harry is in clear danger of losing his inheritance. He was cut off financially by Charles when he moved to California, where he lives with Meghan and their children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, in a $14 million Montecito mansion. The source says losing that income “has always been a sore issue with Harry, who felt cast off into the wilderness after a lifetime of servitude.” Palace insiders say the 39-year-old received nothing from the queen’s estate (as the sole beneficiary, Charles inherited her personal fortune of $500 million when Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022), and he may not receive anything from the crown when his father passes.

His efforts to reconcile with his father fell flat. “When Harry rushed to see his dad, Charles’ aides and Camilla and William quickly reminded the king that Harry was no longer a part of the monarchy’s rank order. Charles was able to squeeze in 30 minutes with Harry before he had to dash off.” The source says Harry is starting to realize that giving up his royal life may have come at a huge cost. “The consequences,” says the source, “have been deeply felt.”

As In Touch has previously reported, Harry and Meghan, 42, have been struggling to fund their lavish lifestyle as their efforts to conquer Hollywood have fizzled. In addition to losing lucrative streaming deals, their recent website relaunch drew backlash over their decision to use their royal titles despite no longer being working royals. “Harry and Meghan have big bills to pay and need to make money, which makes this rebranding necessary, as they see it,” says the source. “They weren’t getting very far with Archewell and now have chosen to use their titles and crests.”

King Charles Is ‘Not Obligated’ to Include Prince Harry in Will Amid Royal Family Rift
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Harry managed to appear hopeful during an interview with GMA on February 16. “I think any illness, any sickness brings families together. I see it time and time again, and that makes me very happy,” he said at an event for the Invictus Games, which pay tribute to wounded soldiers, adding that he will return to the U.K. soon. “I have got other trips planned that would take me through the U.K. or back to the U.K. I will stop in and see my family as much as I can.”

William — who has stepped up as Charles’ health declines — is standing his ground when it comes to letting Harry back in. “William’s been an influential voice to Charles during his short reign, and he will continue to be,” says the insider. (The future king, 41, has been dealing with his own health worries as his wife, Princess Kate, 42, recovers from abdominal surgery.) That’s bad news for Harry, who has repeatedly criticized the royal family in public. “William is committed to protecting the monarchy at all costs,” says the source. “Even if means disassociating from his brother.”

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