The Prince of Wales back to work as King fights cancer

Harry dashes to King

Prince William has returned to work supporting the King, as his estranged brother Prince Harry jetted home to America following a whirlwind trip to see their cancer-stricken father.

There was no meeting between the siblings, who have had a fractured relationship for several years, exacerbated after Harry and wife Meghan Markle aired a string of grievances against the royal family.

About 24 hours after arriving in Britain, the Duke of Sussex was photographed at London’s Heathrow Airport preparing to take off back to America.

Harry had been told, like other senior royals, personally by the King about his diagnosis. He quickly boarded a flight from California, spending about 45 minutes at the monarch’s Clarence House home on Tuesday.

Royal watchers said Harry’s abrupt departure without seeing his brother suggested that the distressing news about their father’s cancer did not appear to have helped mend their rift.

On Wednesday (local time), William returned to work by hosting a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony.

The future king had taken time off to support his family after the Princess of Wales had planned abdominal surgery on January 16. William has returned to public duties since Kate’s care and recovery has settled.

The Prince of Wales’ first day back at work found the monarchy dealing with the health scare surrounding his father, whose reign will pass the 17-month mark on Thursday.

He received “good wishes” for the King, who earlier this week had his first treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer.

Former England footballer Ellen White, who was made an MBE, passed on to William her “best wishes” for the King, and sympathised with the monarchy, saying it must be a “difficult” time for the royal family.

The King has postponed all public-facing duties, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.

Downing Street took the unusual step of confirming details about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s weekly audience with the King, following an agreement with Buckingham Palace, and said it would be held later over the phone.

William may step in to represent his father at an event, but no engagements are scheduled at the moment. The royal palaces will make arrangements if need be.

Kate left hospital last Monday and returned to Adelaide Cottage, on the Windsor Castle estate, to be reunited with her three children. The 42-year-old future queen is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter.

William last carried out a major royal event more than three weeks ago, when he went to Leeds to make former Leeds Rhinos teammates Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield each a CBE for raising funds and awareness for motor neurone disease.

-with AAP

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