Prince William 'still processing' King Charles' shock cancer diagnosis but 'remains determined to put family first'

11 February 2024, 10:28 | Updated: 11 February 2024, 11:32

Prince William is 'still processing' the fact his father has cancer
Prince William is 'still processing' the fact his father has cancer. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prince William is understood to still be processing King Charles' cancer diagnosis but remains determined to keep putting his family first.

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Prince William returned to royal duties last week after clearing his diary to support Kate in her recovery from "successful" abdominal surgery.

The couple have since gone to the Sandringham estate in Norfolk with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis for the half-term.

They are expected to visit the King during their stay, after it was announced earlier in the week that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

William is said to still be processing the news and what it could mean for his role in the royal family.

Read more: King Charles breaks silence to thank well-wishers who provided the 'greatest comfort' after his cancer diagnosis

Read more: Kate Middleton 'on the mend' as she leaves Windsor for first time since operation 'to visit King Charles' with children

Prince William at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala in London
Prince William at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala in London. Picture: Alamy

"At times like this, it is a reminder that as well as being the future head of state, he is also a human being," a royal source told The Times.

"He is processing the news of his father having cancer as a human being. Given the seriousness with which he takes his role, of course it is something he will be thinking about."

William is expected to continue prioritising his family, with royal aides saying he will not "deputise" for Charles.

"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," a source said.

The King, who received treatment for an enlarged prostate last month, was forced to extend his hospital stay after a "form of cancer" was discovered during tests.

He began his "schedule of regular treatments" on Tuesday but no details were given on the type of cancer he has been diagnosed with.

Charles broke his silence on Saturday to thank well-wishers for providing him the "greatest comfort" following his diagnosis.

The monarch said it was "equally heartening" to hear how sharing his diagnosis has helped to promote public understanding of cancer.

"I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days," he said.

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement.

"It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world.

"My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience."