‘It means a great deal to us’: Prince William thanks public for support amid King Charles and Kate's health struggles

8 February 2024, 00:03 | Updated: 8 February 2024, 12:03

Prince William 'appreciates public's kindness' as he addresses King Charles' cancer diagnosis at gala with Tom Cruise
Prince William 'appreciates public's kindness' as he addresses King Charles' cancer diagnosis at gala with Tom Cruise. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Prince William has expressed his gratitude to the public for supporting the Royal Family amid King Charles and Princess Kate's health troubles.

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William said he "really appreciates everyone's kindness" as he addressed King Charles' cancer diagnosis for the first time in public.

William went back to undertaking public duties today for the first time since his father's illness was revealed.

It was also his first time addressing Kate's health struggles, who is currently at home resting after undergoing abdominal surgery.

Prince William
Prince William. Picture: Alamy

Just days after his father's cancer diagnosis was revealed, William went back to work and started the day with an investiture at Windsor Castle where he handed out more than 50 honours.

The Prince of Wales then went on to host a gala for the London Ambulance Service in the capital city.

"We really appreciate everyone's kind messages. Thank you," William told the crowd as he waved at those gathered outside the venue in central London.

Read More: William returns to royal work as Charles and Kate rest - but Prince of Wales won't meet Harry

Read More: Moment Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis found out about King Charles' cancer diagnosis

"It's fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather 'medical' focus. So I thought I'd come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!" he said.

Those attending the gala dinner for the air ambulance service included Hollywood star Tom Cruise.

Despite the devastating family news, William appeared to share a joke with the Top Gun actor before the two posed for pictures together.

Prince William poses for a photo with US actor Tom Cruise at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner
Prince William poses for a photo with US actor Tom Cruise at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner. Picture: Getty
Prince William reacts as he speaks with Tom Cruise at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner, Wednesday night
Prince William reacts as he speaks with Tom Cruise at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner, Wednesday night. Picture: Alamy

William is expected to step up the number of public duties he carries out in the wake of his father's diagnosis.

He is also said to be looking after his wife, Kate, who is recovering from abdominal surgery.

She is expected to be out of public action until at least after Easter.

Royal expert explains why Harry and Meghan's 'American media life' is failing

It comes after Charles enjoyed a 'warm' meeting with his youngest son, Harry, on Tuesday, who flew back following his cancer diagnosis.

But it was reported there were no plans for the feuding brothers to reunite.

Prince William
Prince William. Picture: Alamy
King Charles III waves as he and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House by car in London, Tuesday
King Charles III waves as he and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House by car in London, Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

"The duke's primary reason to travel to the UK is to visit his father. If the opportunity were to arise to see the Prince of Wales then the duke would have gladly accepted it," a source close to Harry said.

William is focused on caring for Princess Kate after her abdominal surgery, which led to her staying at the London Clinic, where the King also underwent prostate treatment before tests revealed his cancer.

Harry did not stay at a royal residence, having lost Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Reports suggest he has stayed at a luxury hotel.

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