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Prince William pulls out of godfather’s memorial service for ‘personal reasons’

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Prince William (L), King Constantine II of Greece (R).

Prince William, the Prince of Wales, withdrew from a memorial service scheduled for his godfather, King Constantine of Greece, shortly before it was set to take place on Tuesday, citing “personal reasons” for his absence.

Kensington Palace, while choosing not to provide additional details, confirmed that the Princess of Wales is ‘recuperating well’ from abdominal surgery. She has not been seen in public since late December 2023.

A source indicated that the Prince had to cancel his attendance due to a ‘personal issue’.

The Prince is due to participate in a forthcoming engagement on Thursday at a synagogue to discuss combating anti-Semitism with young activists and is also expected to appear at another event on Friday.

The 41-year-old was supposed to perform a reading at the memorial held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Tuesday morning, informed the Greek royal family of his inability to attend.

After King Charles also had to withdraw due to his cancer diagnosis, the Queen led the Royal family’s presence at the event.

Charles, aged 75, who is both a close friend and second cousin to Constantine, had been staying at Windsor Castle but departed via helicopter prior to the service’s commencement. He had no plans for private meetings with the Greek royal family members as he continues his cancer treatment.

Numerous foreign royals from Spain, Jordan, Denmark, Bulgaria, Serbia, and the Netherlands flew into Windsor for the service.

The Duke of York, alongside family members including his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, and Princess Beatrice, made a rare public appearance. Zara and Mike Tindall were seen arriving by coach.

Attending in a personal capacity at the Greek royal family’s invitation, the Duke was greeted warmly by the Right Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Dean of Windsor, and seated in the front row.

Present also were the Princess Royal, recently back from a memorial in Namibia, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, along with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, and her daughter, Marina Ogilvy, and the Duke of Kent.

Guests included Sir Jackie Stewart, the former Formula One champion, and Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, close acquaintances of the Royal family.

Queen Camilla wearing a navy hat and pinstripe suit, arrived smiling before taking her seat and conversing briefly with Princess Anne.

The Dean highlighted King Constantine’s life, marked by significant upheaval and challenges. The service concluded with a chant previously sung at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Following the service, the Queen hosted a private reception for guests, including Queen Anne-Marie, at Windsor Castle, not far from the Prince and Princess of Wales’s residence.

The Princess of Wales underwent abdominal surgery on January 17 and has been recuperating at home, with an expected return to duties after Easter.

Following his wife’s surgery, the Prince of Wales cancelled his engagements to care for her and their children, resuming limited public duties since her discharge.

King Charles was treated for an enlarged prostate shortly after his daughter-in-law’s surgery, later diagnosed with cancer, leading to the cancellation of his public duties.

King Constantine, the last reigning King of Greece until 1973, passed away on January 10 last year at the age of 82. The British Royal family was represented at his funeral in Athens by the Princess Royal and Lawrence.

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