William hosted a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony on Wednesday and received “good wishes” for Charles, who earlier this week underwent his first treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer.
The future King had taken time off to support his family after the Princess of Wales underwent planned abdominal surgery on January 16, and returned to public duties once Kate’s care and recovery had settled.
But his first day back at work has found the monarchy dealing with the health scare surrounding his father, whose reign will pass the 17-month mark on Thursday.
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.
Harry had been told, like other senior royals, personally by the King about his diagnosis, and quickly boarded a flight from California, spending around 45 minutes at Charles’ Clarence House home on Tuesday.
Charles looked relaxed later that day when, as he returned to Sandringham, he was seen in public for the first time since his cancer diagnosis was announced by Buckingham Palace on Monday.
But there was no meeting between the estranged siblings William and Harry, who have had a fractured relationship for a number of years, exacerbated after the Sussexes stepped down as working royals, moved to America and aired a string of grievances against the royal family.
The duke was photographed earlier at a VIP area of Heathrow Airport, around 24 hours after first arriving in the UK, as he began his journey back to America.
Charles 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.
Princess of Wales
Kate, Princess of Wales, is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter. (AP PHOTO)
William may step in to represent his father at an event, but no engagements are scheduled at the moment and the royal palaces will make arrangements if the need arises.
Kate left hospital last Monday and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her three children, but the 42-year-old future queen is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter.
The prince last carried out a major royal event more than three weeks ago., when he travelled to Leeds to make former Leeds Rhinos team-mates Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield each a CBE for raising funds and awareness for motor neurone disease.