Prince William steps up after doctors deem event ‘too much’ for King Charles

Royal sources confirmed King Charles would miss an international ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on the advice of doctors and will instead be represented by Prince William

Prince William will take on his first duties deputising for King Charles at a sombre D-Day event later today after it was ruled a “step too far” amid his cancer treatment.

Royal sources confirmed the King would miss the international ceremony on the advice of doctors who are carefully monitoring his schedule in light of his ongoing cancer treatment. Instead, William will be at the event at Omaha Beach event with world leaders including US President Joe Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Prince William
Prince William Photo

Sources said the King was ‘delighted’ his son William would be on hand to deputise for him for the first time. The King was determined to attend 80th anniversary D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth yesterday, where he delivered a personal tribute to the thousands who served and perished on D-Day on June 6, 1944.

This morning he and Queen Camilla attended the British memorial event at Ver-Sur-Mer, Normandy, organised by the British Royal Legion. During his speech, Charles told the audience: “It is with the most profound sense of gratitude that we remember them and all who served at that critical time.” Veterans could be seen wiping their eyes with tissues as Charles made his address at the national commemorative event.

The King is understood to now be taking a break over the weekend and focussing on attending the Trooping the Colour celebrations in London next Saturday, the monarch’s official birthday celebrations. The King’s involvement in Trooping has also been adapted as he continues his treatment and recovery. Instead of riding on horseback to inspect the troops the monarch will travel in an Ascot Landau carriage with Queen Camilla.

A palace source said: “While His Majesty’s doctors are very encouraged with the progress made so far, the King is continuing with his treatment programme – and thus we have to prioritise and protect his continued recovery.

“On that basis, each event/ day has to be carefully calibrated – and given the King’s other commitments on the day, it was advised that the international event later in the afternoon may be a step too far at this stage. He is of course delighted that the Prince of Wales will be attending to represent the nation.”

Earlier today, some veterans of the D-Day beach invasion were helped from their wheelchairs to stand when Charles and Camilla arrived in Normandy. They appeared emotional, with the Queen wiping her eyes as the memories of one D-Day veteran were read to the crowd in Ver-sur-Mer.

In his speech, the King said: “Eighty years ago on D-Day, the 6th of June 1944, our nation – and those which stood alongside it – faced what my grandfather, King George VI, described as the supreme test. How fortunate we were, and the entire free world, that a generation of men and women in the United Kingdom and other allied nations did not flinch when the moment came to face that test.

“On the beaches of Normandy, on the seas beyond and in the skies overhead, our armed forces carried out their duty with a humbling sense of resolve and determination – qualities so characteristic of that remarkable war-time generation. Very many of them never came home, they lost their lives on the D-Day landing grounds or in the many battles that followed. It is with the most profound sense of gratitude that we remember them and all those who served at that critical time. We recall the lesson that comes to us again and again across the decades – free nations must stand together to oppose tyranny.”

The audience heard the experiences of Joe Mines, 99, from Hornchurch in east London, and Camilla dabbed her eye before smiling with the King as Mr Mines waved his arms in the air. Charles sat next to French President Emmanuel Macron during the service and they could be seen talking to each other.

At the same time, William attended the Canadian commemorative ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day at the Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer. William was greeted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who shook the prince’s hand before they walked towards their seats.

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