Prince William is likely being cautious about sharing what's going on in his personal life as he returns to public duties

Royal life is always a bit of a performance - and at the moment you can't help but think how much Prince William is having to put on a brave face.

He seemed nothing but upbeat and engaged as he carried out visits in the Midlands on Thursday, no doubt helped by a very welcoming crowd.

All the visits were based around the topic of mental health, a passion for him and the Princess of Wales, as over the years they've encouraged us all to talk more.

Prince William, however, is probably being more cautious about what he shares about his own life and challenges at the moment, as he tries to balance his public role with protecting his family's privacy.

Professor Richard Simcock, chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, told Sky News that in recent years the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis has finally been taken more seriously, as well as the difficult juggle those supporting their loved ones face, and acknowledged William may also be finding it tough.

"I don't think it matters who you are," he said.

"Having cancer is a very human, emotional, traumatising experience and it affects both the person with the cancer, but the people affected by cancer are the people all around them. And it can be an enormous burden the fear of whether the cancer treatment will be successful, the strain of keeping family life going."

Praising the way Kate and William have handled her diagnosis, he said he hoped their openness on mental health will also help more people.

"We have seen at Macmillan the power of the Royal Family sharing these diagnoses of being open about what's going on," he said.

"The traffic to our website, the calls to our support lines have increased enormously in the wake of those diagnoses and I think that's a good thing.

"People feel they can reach out and get the information they need and that may have led to more diagnoses, that may have led to people getting better support, and if the Prince is willing to talk about mental health and emotional challenges, I can only hope that will lead people to realise if they need help they can reach out and get help from charities like Macmillan or the health providers close to them."

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Prince William kept saying how much Kate would have liked to have been on the visits.

We don't yet know how long she will be away from royal duties. But her decision to share her diagnosis continues to have its own unique impact as undoubtedly the family continues to have some difficult times.