Prince William Keeps Drawing Speculation On Kate's Recovery

William, Prince of Wales, has got his hands full in the aftermath of his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales' surgery and his father, King Charles III's cancer diagnosis. While Charles contemplates abdicating the throne after learning of his condition, this means a wake-up call for William as he's had to step up to perform some royal duties. Kate's health crisis drew suspicion, as most of her inner circle was surprised to learn that she was undergoing surgery only after she posted about it on Instagram on January 17, 2024, noting that it was "A statement from Kensington Palace."

She had abdominal surgery, and the statement explained that it was planned, but because Instagram was how their family learned of her situation, many were confused. As a result, William had been caring for their three children but now has other public appearances to make with a busy schedule. Before he appeared at Windsor Castle for an investiture ceremony on February 7, William hadn't been publicly seen since it was announced that Charles was dealing with cancer.

William is the Football Association's president, and that morning, he presented an MBE to English football star Ellen White, who said of the Prince, "I sent my best wishes to the King. I just think, you know, it must be a difficult time for the family. He was really lovely" (via The Independent). However, people are starting to worry that William's busy schedule could undermine Kate's recovery.

William's fatigue is apparent to the public

Prince William's packed itinerary continued on February 7, as in the evening, he appeared at the London Air Ambulance Charity's fundraiser and dinner. He thanked everyone who worked for Air Ambulance and then stated, "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."

With the stress of everything going on in his life, William certainly needed a break, joking at the gala: "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." Commenters worried that his joketelling was in bad taste and that he should be focused on Kate's health and his duties rather than telling jokes.

To illustrate that his family's health is taking a toll on him, Sky News posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, of him at the investiture ceremony where he was clearly fighting to stay awake. Another tell that he's under much stress was when a medal slipped out of his fingers and onto the floor. Clearly, he's not getting enough rest during all the turmoil.

William's priority is his family, despite jokes

Worried Royal fans fear that Prince William is getting too worn out to care for Kate and help her recover, as he also joked with iconic actor Tom Cruise, who attended the Air Ambulance gala. He put the spotlight on the Hollywood star by saying, "I should also take this opportunity to give a mention to my fellow pilot, Tom Cruise." Obviously, Cruise only played a pilot in the "Top Gun" films, so William was most likely attempting to get through the current pain of his life with humor.

He further thanked Cruise for supporting Air Ambulance, then remarked, "Tom, if you wouldn't mind not borrowing either of the new helicopters for the next Mission: Impossible, it would be appreciated." Noting that fans have seen many helicopters blow up in his movies, William quipped, "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."

Despite his joking, a source told the Daily Mail, "The Prince has always made clear that his priority is to support his wife and family for the time being –- and he did not put a timescale on that." They also addressed William taking over duties for Charles, explaining, "He [made] a return to duties on Wednesday, but you should not expect to see him again for a bit."