Prince William Breaks His Silence on King Charles and Princess Kate’s Health News

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As Prince William steps up his royal responsibilities in the absence of King Charles III and Princess Catherine—who have both faced separate medical concerns over the past few weeks—, he is making sure to keep his loved ones in his thoughts.

On February 7, the Prince of Wales attended a dinner for the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala—a cause he has a special connection to, having worked as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service from March 2015 to July 2017.

In a speech at the event, William paid tribute to the king, whose cancer diagnosis was announced earlier this week, and his wife, who is recovering from abdominal surgery.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days. It means a great deal to us all,” William began. He then jokingly added, “It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather ‘medical’ focus. So I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!”

britains prince william, prince of wales delivers a speech during the londons air ambulance charity gala dinner at the owo in central london, on february 7, 2024 photo by daniel leal pool afp photo by daniel lealpoolafp via getty images

Daniel Leal

A reminder that Charles’ cancer was identified during a recent procedure he underwent to treat a benign enlarged prostate. Harper’s Bazaar understands that the condition is not prostate cancer, although Buckingham Palace has thus far refrained from specifying the monarch’s diagnosis.

As for the Princess of Wales, Kate has returned home to Windsor following a scheduled abdominal surgery on January 16. “The Princess is in good spirits,” a royal source told Harper’s Bazaar when she was discharged from the hospital. She is not expected to return to royal duties until after March.

Elsewhere in William’s speech, the royal paid tribute to another famous face among the guests: Tom Cruise.

“Tom, if you wouldn’t mind not borrowing either of the new helicopters for the next Mission: Impossible, it would be appreciated,” the prince joked. “We have all seen on our screens that—how can I put it?—you seem to have a different take on ‘normal wear and tear’ to the rest of us. It’s not the kind that buffs out.”

london, england february 7 britain's prince william, prince of wales poses for a photo with us actor tom cruise at the london air ambulance charity gala dinner at the owo on february 7, 2024 in london, england photo by daniel leal wpa poolgetty images

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Read William’s full speech below.

Good evening, everyone. Thank you all for being here. And thank you to those whose hard work has made this evening possible.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days. It means a great deal to us all.

It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather “medical” focus. So I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!

But, seriously, we gather tonight to help as many people as possible benefit from top-class care in the silhouette of London Air Ambulance’s flying lifelines.

As a former pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, I know just how vital the work of air ambulance teams across the country is, and the truly lifesaving difference it can make to deliver urgent medical care wherever injury strikes.

Here in London, the current aircraft have served magnificently. But our capital city needs a new fleet. And we are up against time. The clue really is in the appeal’s name. By September, we need the two new red birds—decked with the latest kit, such as night vision—in our skies.

You wouldn’t be here if you needed much persuading, I know. But just wait to hear Milana’s story later of how the air ambulance, and its incredible teams, have given her a second chance at life.

I should also take this opportunity to give a mention to my—our—fellow pilot, Tom Cruise. Tom, huge thanks for supporting us tonight.

And Tom, if you wouldn’t mind not borrowing either of the new helicopters for the next Mission: Impossible, it would be appreciated. We have all seen on our screens that—how can I put it?—you seem to have a different take on “normal wear and tear” to the rest of us. It’s not the kind that buffs out.

Anyway, an enormous thank you to all for being here tonight and for supporting such a wonderful cause.

You are all, each and every one of you, lifesavers.

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