Prince William is stepping out in public in the wake of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis.
Though he’s spent time by his wife’s side, he has his royal duties to perform.
This week, following reports of the aged monarch’s swollen prostate, the world learned that King Charles has cancer.
The Crown Prince has a lot on his mind. Heavy is the head that may very soon wear the crown.
Prince William is back to work, after a fashion
Earlier this year, Kate Middleton spent an extended period under hospitalization. She underwent surgery, and has a long recovery ahead of her.
Now, King Charles’ cancer diagnosis is public. Obviously, the family — most of them, anyway — learned of this first.
It is only natural that Prince William spent time with his beloved family members. But he has royal duties that cannot wait — especially when his father cannot perform them.
While Charles has outpatient cancer treatment this week, William is stepping up to the plate. On Wednesday morning, he held a lavish investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.
During this, he bestowed over 50 honors on his father’s behalf.
Despite a lack of direct political power, the royal family remains a sort of very expensive national mascot. They have ceremonial duties to perform — and just as Charles stepped in for Elizabeth from time to time, William is doing the same for Charles.
Prince William honored a number of athletes
During this first public appearance since the Firm disclosed Charles’ diagnosis, William handed out honors to a number of soccer players.
Soccer is called “football” in the UK, and William is president of the nation’s Football Association.
William and Kate’s official Instagram account praised the “amazing” athletes for “doing incredible things” for various communities.
That is not the end of William’s duties, either.
Another item on his schedule is a fundraising gala dinner for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
William is, officially, the organization’s patron. He has more titles than “Duke” and “Prince,” after all.
William is not the only prince in town
The Prince of Wales certainly knows that his estranged brother, Prince Harry, is also in London.
Even though Charles “iced out” Harry and seems unsure of how to reconcile, Harry wanted to be there for his father.
He raced to the UK earlier this week. Many conclude that he learned of Charles’ diagnosis shortly before it became public or only after.
Unlike Harry, William will take the throne when Charles abdicates or passes away. He has spent his life preparing for this role.
However, he has spent recent weeks caring for his wife, Kate Middleton.
Following her hospitalization in January, Kate has been spending time with family in Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. There, the public expects her to remain for another couple of months.
Not everyone feels overt concern for Charles
Cancer diagnoses should never be a matter of a popularity contest. One does not have to be likable to deserve to live.
However, anyone who exists as the public face of the British monarchy is also assuming a lot of responsibility for all that it represents.
Generations of hoarded wealth, obscene displays of opulence when the public withers under austerity, and leeching over $100 million from taxpayers per year … it’s never going to elicit much sympathy from a lot of people.
One day, unless society makes a lot of very sensible decisions in a very short amount of time, Prince William will be king.
Then, all of that complex baggage will fall on his shoulders instead of his father’s.
He is a bit more popular than Charles, however. His wife is much more tolerant of his indiscretions. And perhaps he’ll elicit more sympathy when his own health begins to fail.
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