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Prince William forced to cancel royal visit last-minute

The Prince of Wales has made a last minute decision to cancel a planned royal engagement

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
Updated: May 23, 2024
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The Prince of Wales has made a last minute decision to cancel a trip which had been planned for May 23 2024. 

The Prince will no longer attend the scheduled engagement following updated guidance from Buckingham Palace, and in a statement to HELLO!, Kensington Palace said: "We look forward to rescheduling in the future and are extremely sorry to anyone who has already travelled." 

Smiling Prince William shaking guest's hand at Buckingham Palace© Getty
Prince William speaks with guests during The Sovereign's Garden Party, at Buckingham Palace, central London, on May 21, 2024

The decision comes after King Charles and Queen Camilla announced a change to their own schedules as a result of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealing a general election would take place on Thursday July 4, 2024.  

Releasing a statement on Wednesday, the royal couple confirmed all royal engagements "which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign," had been canceled or postponed. Buckingham Palace said the King and Queen sent their "sincere apologies" to those affected. 

The news comes after King Charles met with the PM on Wednesday and agreed with his request to dissolve Parliament.

The monarch welcomed the Prime Minister to Buckingham Palace in October 2022. Rishi Sunak told the King "the country is behind you", following his cancer diagnosis© Getty
The monarch welcomed the Prime Minister to Buckingham Palace in October 2022

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on Wednesday: "Following the Prime Minister's statement this afternoon calling a General Election, the royal family will, in accordance with normal procedure, postpone engagements that may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign. Their Majesties send their sincere apologies to any of those who may be affected as a result." 

The results of the July 4 election will determine if Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party is voted out of government. If so, the King will be set for the third prime minister of his short reign. He welcomed Mr Sunak as his second PM just six weeks after acceding to the throne, following the resignation of Liz Truss.

King Charles and Queen Camilla at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show© Getty
The King and Queen have also postponed engagements

The royal couple's appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy in June to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day will go ahead as scheduled.

While they are due to join the Ministry of Defence and Royal British Legion's commemorative event at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer, Prince William is due to mark the poignant anniversary alongside the Canadian government at Juno Beach Centre. 

He will be joined by Canadian armed forces personnel and World War II veterans. The father-of-three is also expected to attend the international commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach, and he will be joined by veterans and 25 world heads of state.

School holidays

The Prince of Wales is likely to take a break from royal duties next week and spend the May half-term holiday with Prince George, ten, Princess Charlotte, nine, and six-year-old Prince Louis. 

While Kensington Palace never disclose details of the Wales family's private plans, they often spend the children's school holidays at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. 

Upon his return to work after the half-term break, William will take part in D-Day commemorations at the beginning of June. 

Hugh Grosvenor and Prince William at the DNRC in 2018© Getty
Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster is close to William and Harry

It's also been widely reported that William will be an usher at the Duke of Westminster's wedding to Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on 7 June. Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster is godfather to the Wales's son, Prince George, and Prince Harry and Meghan's son, Prince Archie. 

The Princess of Wales, who is receiving preventative chemotherapy following a cancer diagnosis, is not expected to attend. 

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