Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate MiddletonReuters

Prince William's absence from most royal duties is being questioned. The Duke of Cambridge has carried out only two royal engagements since the start of 2016, and his work as a part-time pilot for the East Anglia Air Ambulance entails 20 hours of work a week. A recent report in the Mirror described him as "work-shy."

In response, the palace said the Civil Aviation Authority rules on rest periods determined by Brussels. This means Prince William, 33, can't carry out royal duties during this period, The Telegraph reported.

However, reports suggest the Duke of Cambridge is "hardly ever on shift." A source told The Sun: "It's not as exciting as the RAF (the UK's Royal Air Force). There he'd run off and rescue people from the sea. Here he ferries people to hospital and sits outside for an hour. He looks bored out of his skull."

According to a People Magazine report, Prince William's work hours equal to about two-thirds of the total time put in by his colleagues.

When the Duke of Cambridge assumed his new role as a pilot in July 2015, he said in an interview to the BBC: "There's nothing to say I couldn't do it for the rest of my life. I might be able to and still balance the two. But obviously, at some point, there is probably going to be a lot more pressure and responsibility from the other side of my life. At the moment, I'm juggling the two of them and a young family."

While Prince William has excused himself from royal duties, it appears his wife Kate Middleton has picked up the slack and is more active. The Duchess of Cambridge was seen in Scotland raising awareness on mental health at St Catherine's primary school in Edinburgh. She even took part in a tennis workshop with Andy Murray's mother Judy, reported Vanity Fair.

The article also stated: "While Kate has been at home caring for the little prince and princess, questions are quite rightly being asked about William's and Harry's schedules. "