William expected to cover some of King’s duties after Charles’ cancer news

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that King Charles is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales is set to step up to carry out some duties on behalf of his father the King while Charles undergoes treatment for cancer.

William is returning to official engagements this week, with Kensington Palace making its own announcement just a few hours before Buckingham Palace shared the King’s diagnosis with the nation.

The confirmation of William’s return will be seen as an attempt to signal stability within the monarchy despite the difficult times facing the royals.

The prince, 41, is already dealing with his own immediate family’s health troubles, with the Princess of Wales in the early days of recovery after major abdominal surgery.

He stepped back temporarily from his royal role three weeks ago to juggle caring for his wife and their children following Kate’s operation.

No date has been set for the King’s return to full public duties and the princess 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.

It is understood William is likely to undertake some duties on behalf of the King in addition to his own diary of engagements, and as a future king and the senior royal in the line of succession he would be expected to shoulder most of the responsibility.

But Charles – a known workaholic – will carry on behind the scenes dealing with his famous red boxes – which contain his state business and official papers.

The King will also hold his weekly audience with the PM and monthly Privy Council meetings, which can both be done remotely.

The King and Queen were expected to visit Canada in May, and Australia, New Zealand and Samoa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October.

But Charles’s illness raises the prospect that William may have to deputise for the King, who is head of the Commonwealth, at CHOGM, just like Charles did for the late Queen in the past.

Other trips could be postponed depending on how the King’s health progresses.

Forthcoming events that could see William playing a key role include the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey at the start of March and the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June.

William will carry out an investiture at Windsor Castle on Wednesday – which is one of his own regular duties – and also attend the London Air Ambulance annual fundraising evening gala in central London in his role as patron of the charity.

Charles called both his sons to inform them of his condition ahead of the public announcement, with the Duke of Sussex preparing to fly to the UK to be with his father despite their troubled relationship.

William, who is in regular contact with the King, is said to have grown closer to Charles in the wake of Harry’s controversial interviews, documentary and memoir, which saw him launch a flurry of allegations at his family.

It is not yet known whether William will meet his brother during his trip to London, with their long-running rift ongoing.

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