Prince William is set to carry out his first official engagement since his King Charles was diagnosed with cancer and his wife, the Princess of Wales, underwent surgery.
The Prince of Wales will perform an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle after temporarily stepping back from his royal role three weeks ago to juggle caring for his wife and their children following Kate’s operation.
It is understood the 41-year-old heir to the throne will undertake some duties on behalf of his father while Charles undergoes treatment, on top of his own diary of engagements.
Kate left hospital last Monday and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her three children after undergoing planned abdominal surgery on January 16 at the London Clinic.
At the same private hospital, the King received treatment for an enlarged prostate and was discharged the same day as his daughter-in-law, but on Monday, Buckingham Palace announced Charles had been diagnosed with a “form of cancer”.
The confirmation of William’s return to official engagements will be seen as an attempt to signal stability within the monarchy despite the difficult times facing the royals.
It comes as the King and Queen Camilla spent the night at Sandringham a day after he started his treatment.
Charles was on Tuesday seen in public for the first time since his diagnosis as he left Clarence House for Buckingham Palace, where he was flown by helicopter to Sandringham in Norfolk.
Earlier the King had a brief reunion with his youngest son Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who made a transatlantic dash to be with his father following the shock news.
Harry arrived in London from California on Tuesday afternoon, without the Duchess of Sussex and their children, less than 24 hours after the announcement about the King’s health was made to the nation by Buckingham Palace.
The short meeting between Charles and his youngest son has raised hopes the pair will be reconciled despite their troubled relationship.
Suggestions the duke could also heal his long-running rift with his brother William look unlikely.
It is understood the Prince of Wales has no plans to meet with Harry.
The King, 75, has postponed all public-facing duties following his diagnosis, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.
No date has been set for his return to full public duties and Kate is expected to be out of action and away from public duties until after Easter.
William, the Queen and the Princess Royal will be the key royals holding the fort, along with the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
The prince will carry out an investiture at Windsor Castle on Wednesday morning – which is one of his own regular duties – where former England footballer Ellen White will be among those receiving honours.
William, who is president of the Football Association, will make the record-scoring Lioness an MBE for services to football.
Other recipients due at the ceremony include David Shreeve – who co-founded an environmental action group with TV botanist David Bellamy – and Francis Dickinson – who solved an 80-year-old maritime mystery by locating the wreck of a submarine which was lost at sea during the Second World War.
In the evening, William will attend the gala fundraising dinner for London’s Air Ambulance Charity in central London in his role as the organisation’s patron.
Anne held the fort on the royal engagements front on Tuesday, carrying out an investiture on behalf of the King at Windsor Castle before visiting family-run GH Hurt & Son in Nottingham which has provided shawls for royal newborns for more than 70 years.
Charles was seen in public on Tuesday for the first time since his cancer diagnosis as he left Clarence House the day after starting his treatment.
He and the Queen were driven away from their London residence to Buckingham Palace, before being flown by helicopter to Sandringham in Norfolk.
The Duke of Sussex is said to have been reunited with the King after making a transatlantic dash to be with his father following the shock news.
Harry arrived in London from California on Tuesday afternoon, without the Duchess of Sussex and their children, less than 24 hours after the announcement about the King’s health was made to the nation.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who usually has a weekly audience with Charles on Wednesday, said he was thankful the King’s cancer was “caught early” and wished him a full recovery.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the King, who only acceded to the throne 17 months ago, does not have prostate cancer, saying only that it was a “form of cancer”.
He was diagnosed after a “separate issue of concern was noted” and investigated while he was being treated for his benign enlarged prostate.
The Palace has called for the King’s privacy to be respected, especially during his treatment, but said he wanted to make his diagnosis public because of his long-running support for cancer charities.