Prince William has been seen for the first time since Charles’s cancer shock – as he returned to work and prepares to speak about his dad’s health.
Charles has postponed his return to public duties after his cancer diagnosis, with William now bearing the brunt of the King’s duties, The Sun reports.
William had cleared his diary to care for his wife Kate and their three children after she underwent abdominal surgery last month.
He planned to step away from royal duties for three-and-a-half weeks – but held an investiture at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.
Snaps showed William smiling and joking as he handed out gongs at the ceremony.
Former England Lioness Ellen White was among those recognised, chatting with William as he awarded her an MBE.
Ellen said: “I sent my best wishes to the King. I just think, you know, it must be a difficult time for the family.
“He was really lovely. It was a really nice conversation. I’ve met him a couple of times, he definitely puts you at ease.”
The Instagram account for the Prince and Princess of Wales posted several photos of William at the event and said: “Honouring amazing people doing incredible things in our communities up and down the country.”
Later on Wednesday, William is scheduled to attend the London Air Ambulance fundraising gala in London’s Raffles Hotel.
The Times reports that former air ambulance pilot William wants to “reassure the public” by stepping in. He is expected to give a heartfelt speech acknowledging Charles’s health battle at the gala.
But William will not mention his brother’s visit to the UK, sources said.
Meanwhile No 10 said PM Rishi Sunak will have his weekly audience with the King over the phone following his cancer diagnosis.
The Prince of Wales told a recipient at the investiture ceremony that he appreciated his well wishes for the King and the Princess of Wales.
David Shreeve, who co-founded the Conservation Foundation charity with TV botanist David Bellamy, was made an MBE at Windsor Castle on Wednesday for services to the environment.
Mr Shreeve said he spoke with William about a tree he planted on the castle grounds more than 40 years ago, which kickstarted his environmental work.
He said: “I did say to him at the end that I wished both his wife and his dad good luck.”
“He said he appreciated it,” Mr Shreeve added.
All other working members of the Royal Family are understood to be continuing with public engagements in the King’s absence.
But the Princess of Wales is unlikely to be seen carrying out any frontline duties until after Easter, sources say.
The Sun understands Charles and William have become incredibly close in recent months.
The King has been regularly staying at Windsor Castle on Sunday nights to spend time with his eldest son and heir to the throne.
Prince Harry is said to be open to a reunion with William – but reportedly spent the night in a hotel as his brother has no plans to see him.
Harry made a transatlantic dash on Tuesday to be with King Charles following the monarch’s shock cancer diagnosis.
They reunited at Clarence House in their first face-to-face meeting for 16 months.
But Harry is not expected to meet his brother Prince William on the trip.
An insider said William, 41, has no plans to drop in on his brother Harry as he prepares to lead the Royal Family through their dad’s cancer crisis.
Sources close to Harry said he would meet William “if the opportunity were to arise”.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.