Prince William reveals first public engagements since Princess of Wales’s cancer diagnosis

Prince of Wales' engagements will be first since going to Norfolk with the Princess of Wales and their three children for Easter
The Prince of Wales's engagements will be first since going to Norfolk with the Princess and their three children for Easter - CHRIS JACKSON

Prince William will return to work this week with his first public engagement since the Princess of Wales’s cancer diagnosis was announced.

The Prince of Wales, 41, will visit a surplus food redistribution charity in Surrey on Thursday, before going on to a youth centre in west London that receives deliveries from the organisation.

The two visits will be his first since decamping to Norfolk with Princess Catherine and their three children for the Easter holidays.

The Princess announced on March 22 that she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy treatment.

She revealed in a video message that following successful abdominal surgery in January, post-operative tests found that “cancer had been present”.

The Princess of Wales released a video statement announcing her diagnosis
The Princess of Wales released a video statement announcing her diagnosis

The statement was released to coincide with the end of the school term, allowing the Prince and Princess to shield Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, from the ensuing publicity. The children are expected to return to school for the summer term on Wednesday.

The Prince’s last public engagement was almost a month ago, on March 19, when he visited Sheffield to promote his Homewards homelessness initiative, although he was spotted last week at an Aston Villa football match with Prince George.

Prince William, Prince of Wales attends a Homewards Sheffield Local Coalition meeting at the Millennium Gallery on March 19, 2024
The Prince's last engagement was on March 19 in Sheffield - Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kensington Palace had previously said he would return to public duties after the school holidays. He is expected to maintain a reduced timetable, as he has since the beginning of the year, as he continues to juggle work with supporting his wife throughout her ongoing cancer treatment.

Food waste focus echoes Earthshot commitment

The Prince’s focus on the reduction of food waste reflects one of the key priorities of his Earthshot Prize, as it helps protect the environment by cutting down emissions from landfill.

In 2021, the city of Milan won the award’s Build a Waste-Free World category for its food hubs that collect excess food and distribute it to communities in need.

Kensington Palace said the Prince would visit Surplus to Supper to learn about its work bridging the gap between food waste and food poverty across Surrey and West London.

He will meet volunteers who sort and deliver the food, helping them load it into vans to take to local organisations.

The Prince will also join the team of chefs in the kitchen, where he will help prepare meals.

Founded in 2017, the charity, based at Sunbury Cricket Club, redistributes more than three tonnes of surplus food every day to hundreds of local projects such as food banks, charities, schools and community organisations.

It relies on 200 volunteers to collect food that would otherwise go to landfill from local retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and caterers before redistributing it to those most in need.

This month, it will have saved the equivalent of three million meals that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

The charity also prepares and freezes 25,000 meals each year.

The subject of food waste is also close to the heart of the King, who marked his 75th birthday last November with the launch of the Coronation Food Project, an ambitious new initiative that aims to join the dots between food waste and food need.

The monarch is also undergoing treatment for cancer but is expected to return to a programme of light public duties in the coming weeks.