How Prince William will split his time between royal duty and family

With the news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and his wife’s abdominal surgery, all eyes have now turned to the Prince of Wales as the royal family continue to suffer from a series of health setbacks.

In January, Prince William cleared his diary after his wife of 13 years, Kate Middleton, underwent a major operation at the London Clinic which left her hospitalised for nearly two weeks.

The 42-year-old princess is not expected to return to duties until Easter at the earliest, and is now recuperating at the family home in Adelaide Cottage, which is located on the Windsor Castle estate.

Over the last decade, William has made no secret of his commitment to his three young children and has focused on providing them as normal a life as possible.

With Kate unwell, he has spent the recent weeks carrying out the school runs for George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five, and is due to spend the half term holidays at Anmer Hall, the family’s home in Norfolk.

However, he did return to public duties this week, carrying out an investiture ceremony on Tuesday and attending an evening gala to raise funds for the London Air Ambulance, of which he is a patron.

His appearance came just one day after the news broke that King Charles had been diagnosed with an undisclosed cancer, following his treatment last month for a benign enlarged prostate.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said that the 75-year-old monarch would be stepping down from public duties as he engaged in treatment, but would continue official paperwork and State business.

Both his and Kate’s withdrawal from royal engagements has left the monarchy in a semi-crisis, with the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Gloucester stepping up to hold the fort.

It is now possible that William will have to step in for his father during the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11, and will represent the king at a memorial service for King Constantine of Greece at the end of the month.

He is also due to appear at the Baftas on 18 February, however his attendance is said to be dependant on how his wife’s recovery continues over the coming week.

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