Prince William Back To Work After Kate Middleton’ Surgery, King Charles’ Cancer Announcement

Prince William will make his first public appearance today since health blows to the royals (File)

Britain’s Prince William returns to public duty on Wednesday following his wife Kate Middleton’s surgery and the revelation King Charles had cancer, with the heir to the throne set to take on a more prominent role in his father’s absence.

Prince William postponed all his planned engagements to look after his three children after Kate Middleton, 42, underwent planned abdominal surgery on January 16.

Since then, his father has undergone treatment at the same hospital as Kate Middleton for an enlarged prostate, before Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that subsequent tests on the 75-year-old monarch had revealed he had a form of cancer.

On Wednesday, Prince William, 41, will make his first public appearance since the series of health blows to the royals when he carries out an investiture – a ceremony where he formally hands out state honours – at Windsor Castle and later attends a gala dinner for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.

With the king postponing public duties as he has out-patient treatment and Kate Middleton not expected to return to engagements until after Easter, the onus will be on the remaining royals especially Prince William and King Charles’ wife Queen Camilla, to provide the public face of the monarchy.

Royal author Robert Hardman said Prince William had already taken on substantial state duties towards the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign when she was hampered by mobility issues.

“In that regard, it’s not that different but obviously there’s the burden of expectation,” Hardman told Reuters. “On many occasions he will have to stand in, he’ll be sort of quasi head of state in much the same way that Prince Charles was when the queen was infirm.”

On Tuesday, the king travelled with Camilla to Sandringham House, his home in eastern England, after a brief meeting of about 30 minutes with his estranged son Prince Harry who flew in from California to see his father after the king told him he had cancer.

Prince Harry has barely been on speaking terms with many of the Windsors after his criticism of the monarchy since stepping down from royal duties almost four years ago. A royal source said there were no plans for him to see his elder brother Prince William during his visit to Britain.

Despite the diagnosis, King Charles is planning to continue with much of his private work as monarch including his weekly audience with the prime minister and dealing with state papers.

Buckingham Palace has not given any details of the condition other than to say it was not prostate cancer, but said the king was remaining “wholly positive” and looking forward to returning to public duty as soon as possible.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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