Why King Charles and Prince William canceled their royal outings this week

King Charles and Prince William switched up their calendars this week.

The monarch, 75, and his eldest son, 41, canceled their engagements for the rest of the week after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a surprise general election on July 4.

“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, per Tatler magazine.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a general election. AP
The election is set to take place on July 4. Getty Images

“Their Majesties send their sincere apologies to any of those who may be affected as a result.”

Charles had three outings planned for the week while William had one.

Pausing royal engagements ahead of an election is customary for the royal family who have long been apolitical.

As a result, all royal outings were canceled this week. Getty Images
The Palace said in a statement that this was “normal procedure.” Getty Images

However, Tatler reports that several major engagements will still continue as planned, including the King’s visit to Normandy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France and William’s visit to Omaha Beach to honor veterans.

It’s also likely Charles will still attend Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot and Garter Day celebrations.

The revised schedules come after both royals recently returned to public duties.

Engagements were postponed so they would not “divert attention or distract from the election campaign.” Chris Jackson-Getty/POOL supplied by Splash News / SplashNews.com
Charles took time off earlier this year while undergoing treatment for cancer. Chris Jackson-Getty/POOL supplied by Splash News / SplashNews.com

The father-and-son duo made a rare joint appearance while visiting the Army Flying Museum in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, earlier this month.

The King resumed royal duties on April 30 after taking time off to undergo cancer treatment.

In February, Buckingham Palace shared Charles had been diagnosed with an unspecified cancer after undergoing a “routine hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement.”

Prince William also took time off after his wife, Kate Middleton, was diagnosed with cancer. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
In March, the Princess of Wales revealed her diagnosis in an emotional video. BBC Studios

William also briefly stepped away from his duties after his wife, Kate Middleton, was also diagnosed with cancer following a planned abdominal surgery.

The Princess of Wales, 42, revealed her health condition in an emotional video message shared in March.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful,” she said.

“However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

Prior to the announcement, Middleton had become the subject of wild conspiracy theories. Getty Images
Her last public appearance was on Christmas Day. Samir Hussein/WireImage

The video was released amid wild conspiracy theories about her absence from public life. She has remained out of the public eye while undergoing treatment.

It is unclear when Middleton will resume her royal duties.

Her last public appearance came in December 2023 when she attended the Christmas Day service with her husband and their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.