Royal experts explain that we are witnessing Prince William’s “dry-run as King”

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the Earthshot Prize in 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

2024 has been a difficult year for the royal family, with both King Charles and the Princess of Wales diagnosed with cancer.

The two senior royal family members revealed that they had been diagnosed with undisclosed forms of cancer just a month apart, making the news public "in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer". 

“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family," the Princess of Wales explained in a video message as she announced her condition, telling those affected by cancer around the world, "You are not alone".

Both King Charles and the Princess of Wales have been forced to take a step back from public duties in order to focus on their respective health conditions. And with a slimmed-down monarchy in place, it has fallen mainly upon heir to the throne Prince William to step up, and reassure the nation amid what experts are calling "the biggest crisis since the abdication".

In fact, sources have even reported that we are witnessing Prince William's dry-run as King.

“William and Kate had hoped to have several decades as Prince and Princess of Wales, and god willing they will still get them," a former royal courtier has reportedly noted via Cosmopolitan. "But what is interesting about the next few months is that William is being forced into a dry run at being king much sooner than he might have imagined such a thing would come to pass."

"William has certainly realised this and the weight of the world is on his shoulders," added royal expert Robert Jobson explained, via Hello!. "He's going to be the King at some stage."

The Prince of Wales returned to duty this week, following a month-long absence to spend the Easter holidays with his family.

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.