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Prince William pays tribute at private memorial after resuming royal duties

The future king paid his respects to a wartime hero

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
19 April 2024
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The Prince of Wales paid tribute to a wartime hero as he attended the memorial service for Major Mike Sadler at Hereford Cathedral on Friday.

Major Sadler, who died at the age of 103 on 4 January, was the last original member of the SAS and the last survivor of the Long Range Desert Group.

During his extraordinary military career, he guided SAS commandos across the Libyan desert for nighttime raids on AXIS airfields and bases. In 1944, Major Sadler was parachuted into France as part of Operation Houndsworth and later worked for MI6.

He was awarded the Military Cross, the Military Medal, the Polar Medal and the Legion of Honour for his service.

Major Sadler's role during the Second World War was depicted in the 2022 historical drama series, SAS: Rogue Heroes, based on Ben Macintyre's 2016 book of the same name.

He is survived by his daughter, Sally, from his second marriage to Patricia Benson Sadler, who died in 2001.

Prince William's attendance at the service comes the day after he carried out his first public engagement since his wife Kate's cancer diagnosis was revealed on 22 March.

The father-of-three, 41, visited food distribution charity, Surplus to Supper, in Surrey, where he helped to prepare a meal in the kitchen and loaded up a van with food donations.

Prince William helps make bolognese sauce with head chef Mario Confait© Getty
William helped out in the kitchen at Surplus to Supper

William then joined drivers as they dropped off the food delivery to Hanworth Centre Hub in Feltham, west London, a youth centre which provides a range of services for the local community.

The Prince vowed to take care of his wife Kate as one well-wisher handed him two get well cards for the Princess of Wales and King Charles, who are both undergoing cancer treatment.

Prince William carries a crate of bananas© Getty
William helped to unload the van

William appeared touched by the messages from volunteer Rachel Candappa, who was working at a food distribution charity the royal visited in Surrey.

When she asked about Kate, telling him to “take care of her”, William replied: “I will.”

The Prince and Princess spent the Easter holidays privately with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who returned to their classrooms at Lambrook earlier this week.

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