What King Charles’s Cancer Diagnosis Means for Princes William and Harry

Less than two weeks after King Charles III was admitted to a London hospital to be treated for an enlarged prostate, Buckingham Palace disclosed that tests had revealed “a form of cancer.” As Charles has been “advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” many expected other members of the royal family to step up to the plate. So what does the news mean for Charles’s two sons, William and Harry?

Any of the small handful of working senior royals could theoretically be called upon to attend events in King Charles’s place and take on other duties while he receives treatment. Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, are expected to absorb some of them.

But a great many of Charles’s duties are expected to fall to his son William, the Prince of Wales, who is the heir to the throne. The prince had only recently decided that he would be taking some time off from his public duties while his wife, Catherine, was hospitalized for a “planned abdominal surgery.” (To allow for her recovery, Catherine would not be undertaking any public activities until after Easter, the royal family said at the time.)

“With the Princess of Wales undergoing abdominal surgery and being out of the public eye, I think the spotlight will surely fall to Prince William,” said Elizabeth Holmes, a journalist who has written widely about the royals. Camilla had also been keeping a full schedule recently, Ms. Holmes added, saying that last week the queen consort had had “public engagements every day, which is a lot.”

William’s life had already been turned upside-down by his wife’s hospitalization, but in the weeks ahead, he is likely be asked to add events and ceremonies from his father’s schedule to his own.

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