The Royal Family

Prince William Pulls Out Of Event As Kate’s Health Update Is Issued

An update has been shared on The Princess of Wales ‘ health after Prince William pulled out of a royal event due to a ‘personal matter’.

The Prince of Wales had been due to attend a memorial service today for the late King Constantine of Greece, who was also his godfather, at Windsor Castle today but decided not to attend. It comes just over a month after Kate returned home to Windsor following a two-week stay at the London Clinic following abdominal surgery in the new year, which means she is not due to return to carrying out royal duties until after Easter.

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However, according to a royal source, William’s absence from the event today is understood not to be in relation to the Princess of Wales’ continued recovery at home in Windsor from abdominal surgery last month. The source said: “The Princess of Wales continues to be doing well.”

William, who was due to deliver a reading, called the Greek royal family who were attending the service in St George’s Chapel to let them know he was unable to attend. It now means Camilla is leading the royals at the service for the last King of Greece, who was a close friend of King Charles.

Charles, who is being treated for cancer, is also missing the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in honour of Constantine, his second cousin. The monarch, 75, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer just over a fortnight ago, is not carrying out public duties while he has treatment.

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Constantine, who died at the age of 82 in January last year, had a close bond with the British royals. He was also the godfather for the daughter of Prince and Princess of Michael of Kent, Lady Gabriella Kingston. Making a surprise appearance at the service today is Prince Andrew, who previously stepped down from public life, as it is classed as a “family event”. He was joined by his former wife Sarah Ferguson, their daughter Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Mike and Zara Tindall are also there as well as Princess Anne.

Also attending the service today are the late king’s widow Queen Anne-Marie, who arrived with Camilla, their eldest son, Crown Prince Pavlos, who will take William’s place by doing the reading, and other members of the Greek royal family for the service in the nave of the 15th century chapel. Members of other foreign royal families are also there, including King Felipe of Spain, who was Constantine’s nephew and Queen Letizia of Spain. Princess Benedikte of Denmark, a sister-in-law of Constantine also attended.

Constantine, who died in an Athens hospital, acceded to the throne at the age of 23 in 1964. The young king, who had won Olympic gold in sailing, was initially hugely popular. By the following year he had squandered much of that support with his active involvement in the machinations that brought down the popularly elected Centre Union government of prime minister George Papandreou.

The episode, still widely known in Greece as the ‘apostasy’ or defection from the ruling party of several politicians, destabilised the constitutional order and led to a military coup in 1967. Constantine eventually clashed with the military rulers and was forced into exile. The dictatorship abolished the monarchy in 1973 and a referendum after democracy was restored in 1974 dashed any hopes Constantine had of reigning again.

He lived in exile for many years in Hampstead Garden Suburb in north London, before returning to his home country in 2013. He was a first cousin once removed and sailing partner of the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who was also part of the Greek royal family.


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