(London) Prince William thanked the British on Wednesday for their “sympathy” towards the royal family and the king, suffering from cancer, the first public statement from the heir to the throne who is resuming his official activities after a break to take care of his wife, Kate, who is convalescing.
“We sincerely appreciate everyone’s messages of sympathy,” the heir to the throne briefly told the press upon arriving at a charity gala in London, where he is due to give a speech.
William resumed his public royal engagements on Wednesday, with the difficult task of filling the void left by the absence of King Charles III forced to step aside.
Less than 18 months after acceding to the throne, the 75-year-old sovereign began treatment on Monday for a form of cancer which was not specified.
If he will continue some of his administrative functions, he will be absent from public life for an indefinite period and on Tuesday went outdoors in his country residence in Sandringham, in the east of England.
The king’s weekly audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will take place “by telephone”, Downing Street said on Wednesday, an extremely rare clarification on this traditional and “totally private” meeting between the sovereign and his head of government.
They should resume in person within two weeks, according to British media.
As a foretaste of the destiny that awaits him when he succeeds his father, William, very popular, finds himself even more in the spotlight.
The Prince of Wales, 41, presented decorations at Windsor Castle on Wednesday morning, his first official appearance in three weeks.
William had withdrawn due to the operation his wife underwent, and in order to take care of their three young children, George, Charlotte and Louis.
Kate, 42, was hospitalized on January 16 for abdominal surgery. The reasons for this intervention remain unknown, but it is not cancer, according to British media.
The princess is spending her convalescence at the family home in Windsor, west of London. It is not expected to resume activities before Easter, March 31.
Continuity and stability
Charles’ cancer came as a shock as he had been in good form since his accession to the throne and seemed, despite his initial low popularity, to have found his place with the British. He was particularly active on the diplomatic front and on his favorite subject, the defense of the environment.
After wanting to reassure by declaring on Tuesday that the illness had been detected “early”, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak renewed his wishes for recovery on Wednesday in Parliament, saying he was “looking forward to seeing him return to his functions in person in due time”.
Highly anticipated because of his title as heir, William’s return seems for the moment reduced to a minimum: no commitment is on his agenda for the days to come.
The continuity and stability of the monarchy, which exists above all for the public through the thousands of visits made to the field by its members each year, rest essentially on the shoulders of Queen Camilla, very visible in recent days, and of the Princess Anne, Charles’s sister.
Camilla has been traveling a lot in recent days. But there is no doubt that she should stay close to him to help him get through this ordeal.
On Tuesday, the couple were seen driving together from their London residence Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, where they took a helicopter to Sandringham.
Charles III had just received a brief visit – a little over half an hour – from his youngest son, Prince Harry, who had just arrived from California where he lives with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
Despite ongoing tensions between Harry and the rest of the royal family, the king had personally informed his son of his illness.
But the Duke of Sussex, seen Wednesday afternoon at Heathrow Airport, only spent one day in London, and did not meet William, dashing hopes of a reconciliation between the two brothers .