Prince Charles' Coronavirus Diagnosis Has William and Harry Reconciling

An insider says Prince Charles' COVID-19 diagnosis "has been a very sobering reminder" for William and Harry.

Today's news that Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus has resurrected the brotherly bond between Prince William and Prince Harry who, according to a royal insider, "are putting their differences aside over their mutual concern for their father." The princes—who were barely on speaking terms when Harry and Meghan Markle departed for Canada earlier this month to begin their new lives away from the royal family—"are both equally concerned for Prince Charles and have been talking regularly."

"After all the rancor between William and Harry over everything that has happened, this has changed everything," said my source. "They lost their mother so young and Charles has been a good father to them both. This has been a very sobering reminder of how important their brotherly bond has been throughout their lives."

A statement from Clarence House on Tuesday morning revealed that Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, saying, "He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual." It went on to say that his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, "has also been tested but does not have the virus."

Charles has carried out a full schedule of engagements this month including a meeting at a London charity on Mar. 10 with Prince Albert of Monaco, who later tested positive for coronavirus as well.

Prince Charles has been self-isolating in Scotland at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate since last weekend. The 71-year-old heir to the throne has been in regular contact with William, who is in London at Kensington Palace with Kate Middleton and their three childrenPrince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—and Harry, who is staying at a borrowed waterfront compound in Vancouver with Meghan and their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

"Charles and William have grown closer in the past year, especially during the contentious negotiations with Harry over his exit from royal life. Harry had been very angry with both of them," said the Palace insider. "None of that seems important in light of what's going on now."

The insider continued: "Charles has been talking to both his sons and reassuring them that he's feeling well enough to carry on from Birkhall and is taking precautions. The prince wants his sons to look after their own families. Everyone was together at Commonwealth Day services so there is some anxiety, but the princes have been staying in touch to make sure everyone is all right."

William and Harry are also both "greatly concerned" for their grandparents—Queen Elizabeth, who turns 94 next week, and the ailing Prince Philip, 98—who are both staying at Windsor Castle due to the widespread outbreak of coronavirus in London. Buckingham Palace reported that the Queen last saw her son, Charles, on Mar. 12, and was "in good health."

Before Charles' diagnosis, the news that a Buckingham Palace staffer tested positive for coronavirus "sounded the alarm bells" and had the brothers staying "in close contact," according to my source. "Harry is quite upset to be so far away from his father, the Queen, and the rest of the family during this frightening time," the insider said. "William has been reassuring him that everything possible is being done. Nothing else matters at the moment."

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.