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Prince William will continue to put his wife and children’s welfare to the fore as he steps up to help his ailing father.

While the heir to the throne will return to public duties today – after having decided to ‘clear his diary’ in order to support the Princess of Wales during and after her operation last month – he is not expected to pick up full-time royal duties quite yet.

He will undertake two public engagements, holding an investiture at Windsor Castle on behalf of the King in the morning followed by a gala dinner in central London in the evening in his role as patron of the London Air Ambulance.

After that, however, he has no further duties scheduled this week and will be with Kate and the children again next week during their half-term holiday.

A source said: ‘The Prince has always made clear that his priority is to support his wife and family for the time being – and he did not put a timescale on that.

‘He will make a return to duties on Wednesday but you should not expect to see him again for a bit after that.’

Prince William will continue to prioritise Kate Middleton and his children’s welfare ahead of his full-time royal duties after deciding to clear his diary to support his wife while she recovers from surgery

Prince William will continue to put his wife and children’s welfare to the fore as he steps up to help his ailing father

William will be with Kate and the children again next week during their half-term holiday

William will be with Kate and the children again next week during their half-term holiday

William has always made clear that, at this stage in his life, his duty to his family comes ahead of his public role

William has always made clear that, at this stage in his life, his duty to his family comes ahead of his public role

It is understood that his team at Kensington Palace are speaking to their opposite numbers at Buckingham Palace about which public engagements William could potentially attend in his father’s place.

They are likely to be along the lines of further investitures and, perhaps, leading the family at events such as the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey early next month.

But with His Majesty insisting on keeping his hand firmly on the tiller of State business during his treatment, it is highly unlikely that the future king will be required to take over any constitutional matters.

It is understood that William, 41, has his father’s ‘100 per cent’ backing in returning at his own pace.

A source said: ‘The King adores Catherine and thinks she is doing a wonderful job. He understands that family comes first.’

The King has been spending an increasing amount of time at Windsor Castle since his accession, often staying over on Sunday evenings, affording him more time with his son and young grandchildren to whom he is growing ever closer. 

William, who now lives in Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate, a short walk from the castle, also often uses rooms in the historic royal residence for meetings. 

The Princess of Wales was unexpectedly admitted to hospital last month for what has been described only as ‘abdominal surgery’.

She spent two weeks in The London Clinic, where the King also underwent his prostate operation, and she is unlikely to start undertaking royal duties again until after Easter.

Prince Harry is pictured arriving at Clarence House to meet his father

Prince Harry is pictured arriving at Clarence House to meet his father 

It is understood that William, 41, has his father's '100 per cent' backing in returning at his own pace

It is understood that William, 41, has his father’s ‘100 per cent’ backing in returning at his own pace

King Charles III leaves Clarence House by car in London today

King Charles III leaves Clarence House by car in London today

The Royal Helicopter that brought King Charles and Queen Camilla to Sandringham

The Royal Helicopter that brought King Charles and Queen Camilla to Sandringham

King Charles and Queen Camilla are pictured leaving Clarence House today

King Charles and Queen Camilla are pictured leaving Clarence House today 

Aides said at the time that her husband had cancelled all his forthcoming engagements to be by her side and support their children Prince George, ten, Princess Charlotte, eight and five-year-old Prince Louis.

While they did not put a timeline on it, sources suggested the Prince would remain at Windsor with them for ‘several weeks’.

William has always made clear that, at this stage in his life, his duty to his family comes ahead of his public role.

However, it is unheard of to have three senior members of the Royal Family out of action at one time, particularly now the King is likely to be away for longer than planned, meaning working royals will be thin on the ground.

And this means there will, inevitably, be more pressure on the future king to step up.

At today’s investiture, William will hand out more than 50 honours, including one to former England women’s footballer Ellen White, 34.

In the evening, he will attend the London Air Ambulance annual fundraising gala in central London. He has been the charity’s patron since 2020.

The dinner is being held in support of the charity’s largest ever fundraiser, hoping to produce £15million to replace its helicopter fleet.

William is due to give a speech and he is expected to publicly acknowledge his father’s illness for the first time as well as possibly thanking wellwishers.



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