Prince William pulls out of engagement over ‘personal matter’

LONDON  -   Heir to the British throne Prince William, whose wife Catherine is recovering from abdominal surgery and father King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer, on Tuesday pulled out of attending a memorial service, citing a “personal matter”. William’s Kensington Palace office declined to elaborate but said Catherine, the Princess of Wales, continued to be “doing well”. William had been due to attend a memorial service at Windsor Castle, west of London, for the late King Constantine of Greece, who was also one of his godfathers. The Prince of Wales had called the Greek royal family, who are attending the service, to let them know he was unable to attend, the palace said. This year has seen a sudden shortage of frontline royals after the almost simultaneous hospitalisations of the king and Catherine earlier this year. The family’s health woes have left William shouldering a heavy burden of public duties while at the same time supporting Catherine and helping care for their three children. Charles was admitted for surgery for a benign prostate condition last month, but subsequently diagnosed with an unrelated cancer. He has withdrawn from public-facing duties while he undergoes treatment.

Catherine underwent abdominal surgery at the same time and is currently recuperating, following a two-week hospital stay. Queen Camilla, Charles’s wife, is attending the memorial service at Windsor’s Saint George’s Chapel. King Constantine of Greece died in January 2023. The last member of a century-long dynasty, Constantine had reigned for just three years when an army dictatorship seized control of the country in 1967. Nearly eight months after the junta seized power, Constantine organised a military counter-coup that failed. He fled to Rome with the rest of the royal family, and later to London. The junta abolished the monarchy in 1973, and Greeks voted not to restore the royal family after the restoration of democracy in 1974. The British Crown was represented by Princess Anne, King Charles III’s sister, at Constantine’s funeral in Greece last year.

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