Prince William and Kate sidestep Harry questions as couple return to public duties

Prince and Princess of Wales were in Liverpool while King Charles drank tea in a shed in Scotland

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King Charles III, Prince William and wife Kate have made their first public appearances since the publication of Prince Harry’s memoir, but there was no royal review and book-related questions were sidestepped with ease.

The Prince and Princess of Wales made a hospital-opening trip to Liverpool while King Charles visited a charity group — both low-key trips for the senior royal family members, but high profile considering the timing.

These were also the first public royal events of the year.

Prince Harry’s book Spare, in which he savages his family and explains how he came to retire from royal life, was published on Tuesday.

Questions on Prince Harry were fired at the Prince and Princess of Wales but the media experts refused to take the bait.

When they arrived at the hospital opening, Prince William and wife Kate ignored the first of a number of Prince Harry-related questions during their day in Liverpool.

A man in an outside area reserved for the media asked: “Do you ever plan to comment on Harry's book, sir?”

At their next stop at a mental health charity, a broadcaster shouted: “Your Royal Highness, have you had a chance to read your brother's book?”

Again, the question was brushed aside without any acknowledgement.

Both trips were a contrast to the publicity tour that Prince Harry has been on to promote Spare.

So far, neither Buckingham Palace nor aides for any of the royal family members have commented on Prince Harry's disclosures.

The king, meanwhile, visited Aboyne, near the late Queen Elizabeth II's Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, to tour the Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed and meet local hardship support groups.

He drank tea in the Aboyne Men's Shed, which is part of an international network providing community spaces for men to connect, and met local people.

King Charles, dressed in a hunting Stewart tartan kilt, then unveiled a plaque to a round of applause and as Scotland The Brave rang out on the pipes.

Sandra Charles, 64, visiting from Australia, said she had been tipped off about the king's visit by a friend in Aberdeen.

“I thought, while I am over here, why not come along and see if I can get the chance to meet him,” she said, minutes before King Charles spoke to her.

Speaking after her interaction with the king, she added: “I was waving and he came up and I said I was from Australia. He said to say hello to everyone back in Australia.

“When he came back out, he remembered me and said, 'are you still here?', and then said, 'we can't do without the Aussies'.”

While visiting the Men's Shed, King Charles watched members perform craft skills including wood and stone carving.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 7:19 PM