Prince William predicted to take on unofficial new role as King Charles undergoes treatment

Feb 16, 2024
Prince William's potential unofficial role could alleviate the pressures on the 75-year-old King Charles. Source: Getty Images.

As King Charles embarks on a challenging journey of cancer treatment, the Monarchy is preparing for a subtle yet significant shift, with Prince William anticipated to assume a more active position in royal affairs.

Renowned royal historian Kelly Swaby suggests this change may resemble an unofficial idea termed “soft regency.”

In a recent interview with 9Honey, Swaby shed light on the concept, explaining, “It’s called a ‘soft regency’, where it isn’t official, but we have an heir to the throne performing most of the duties that are usually the duties of the sovereign.”

“So we may see William step up to do a lot of the ceremonial things that the King would usually be required to do, but without an official regency been declared,” Swaby added.

The move echoes the similar approach taken by the Royal Family during Queen Elizabeth II’s later years when she faced considerable “mobility issues”.

“We kind of saw it in the Queen’s later years where the then-Prince Charles stepped up,” Swaby remarked.

“We may see a situation [again] that we saw when the Queen was older, when Charles was pretty much the face of the royal family – we all knew that he was really leading things.

“The Queen was the boss, but he was kind of doing all the day-to-day things. We may see that for a while [now, with Prince William].”

According to Swaby, Prince William’s potential unofficial role could alleviate the pressures on the 75-year-old King Charles.

“I feel like that might give the King space to actually recover and not have the pressures of everything on him, because I imagine the pressure of being sovereign is enormous,” she said.

“I quite like the term ‘soft regency’, I think it’s actually quite accurate in terms of what we may see in the next coming months.”

William has already stepped up to fill the void left by the King after returning to public duties on Wednesday, February 7 to host an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The ceremony saw him awarding honours such as CBEs, OBEs, and MBEs to deserving recipients. Later in the day, he attended a gala fundraising dinner for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.

As the Royal Family negotiates this delicate juncture, Prince William’s increasing responsibilities offer a pragmatic solution, maintaining continuity in royal engagements while affording King Charles the essential time and space for health and recovery.

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