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William appoints former government diplomat as private secretary

The Prince of Wales has appointed a former Government diplomat as his private secretary, as he returns to royal duties following his father’s cancer diagnosis.

Ian Patrick, who has also worked for former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, will take up the role, Kensington Palace said on Friday.

The prince resumed regular duties this week having taken time off to support his family, after the Princess of Wales underwent planned abdominal surgery.

William hosted an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday before attending the London’s Air Ambulance charity gala dinner later that evening, thanking the public for their messages of support for the King.

It was announced on Monday that Charles would be undergoing regular treatment for an unspecified cancer, found during his recent hospital stay for a procedure on an enlarged prostate.

Mr Patrick worked under Lord Ashdown when he was in Bosnia from 2002 to 2006 before joining the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

He is also a trustee for Crohn’s & Colitis UK, a charity for the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease.