Prince Edward set to return to royal duties as brother King Charles fights cancer

Prince Edward will be returning to royal duties this week, as his brother Charles battles cancer.

The Prince of Wales, the Queen and other working royals are expected to step up their royal duties while the King undergoes treatment, following the shock announcement of his illness on Monday.

Edward’s last public engagement was an overseas trip that finished on 26 January. The Duke of Edinburgh and his wife Sophie, both 59, are part of Charles’s slimmed-down working monarchy, introduced after his mother passed away last year.

Prince Edward will be attending his first public engagements since a foreign trip last month

(Getty Images)

Edward has two engagements scheduled on the royal diary this Thursday; attending a talent showcase at The Savoy in London as patron of the Production Guild of Great Britain and a reception at the Institute of Physics.

It comes after the duke spent a week overseas last month. On 22 January, Edward began a two-day trip in South Africa to visit Pretoria and meet animal conservation groups. He then travelled on to St Helena on 23 January, spending four days in the subtropical British Overseas Territory, which sits in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Here, the King’s youngest brother encountered the island’s most famous inhabitant – 191-year-old Jonathan, the Seychelles giant tortoise, who is the oldest living land animal in the world, thought to have hatched in 1832.

On the last day of the working trip, 26 January, the duke made the short journey to visit Ascension Island. Describing the occasion as “momentous”, its government said the day was for celebrating “our island’s heritage, unique biodiversity, and the incredible efforts of our community volunteers”.

Buckingham Palace made the announcement the King had been diagnosed with a form of cancer and is stepping back from public duties, following treatment Charles had for an enlarged prostate.

The duke with his wife Sophie

(Getty Images)

Other members of the royal family are expected to continue with a full programme of public engagements and may undertake some additional duties on behalf of the King if they are required to do so.

The palace has said Charles “remains wholly positive about his treatment” after the cancer was caught early. The monarch, 75, also underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate last month.

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