Buckingham Palace has confirmed that King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer. The form of cancer has not been disclosed; it is not prostate cancer and was identified during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate.
The King began “regular treatments” on Monday and would postpone public obligations while undergoing treatment, according to the Palace.
The 78-year-old monarch “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible,” according to the statement. There are no further data about the cancer’s stage or prognosis.
Charles personally informed both of his sons of his diagnosis, and the Prince of Wales was thought to maintain regular touch with his father.
The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who lives in the United States, spoke with his father and will fly to the UK to see him soon.
King Charles returned to London from Sandringham, Norfolk, on Monday morning, and the palace said he has begun outpatient therapy.
Although he will suspend his public appearances, the King will continue to fulfil his constitutional function as head of state, which includes paperwork and private meetings.
King Charle’s weekly meetings with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will continue, unless physicians urge him to reduce such interaction.
When the head of state is unable to perform official duties, a constitutional process allows “counsellors of state” to be appointed to act in place of the king.
Currently, that comprises Queen Camilla, Prince William, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward. Prince Harry and the Duke of York are no longer needed because they are non-working royals.
Prince William had also taken a break from public appearances to assist his wife Catherine, the Princess of Wales, in recovering from stomach surgery she underwent last month.
On Sunday, the King Charles III attended a church service in Sandringham, where he waved to the crowds and strolled for around ten minutes.
He underwent a prostate operation at a private London hospital over a week ago. At the time, the Palace claimed that the therapy was for a “benign” condition.
“It was during this intervention that a separate issue of concern was noted and subsequently diagnosed as a form of cancer,” according to the report.
According to the Palace, the King chose to speak publicly about his cancer treatment because he was a patron of several cancer-related causes as Prince of Wales.
“In this capacity, His Majesty has often spoken publicly in support of cancer patients, their loved ones and the wonderful health professionals who help care for them.”
He had also gone public about his prostate therapy in order to encourage more guys to have their prostates checked.
He was stated to be overjoyed to have raised awareness about the issue, with the NHS website noting an increase in inquiries concerning prostate diseases.
The Royal Society of Medicine hailed the King for emphasising “how cancer is indiscriminate” and encouraged those eligible for cancer screenings to schedule an appointment.
“Please don’t be shy – the more information we have the better to help – hopefully – rule out cancer or, if not, put you on the most suitable treatment pathway,” the organization’s president, Dr. Jay Verma, said.
The King Charles’s cancer was discovered during the treatment of an enlarged prostate.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and Commons Speaker Sir Lyndsay Hoyle all wished the King a “full and speedy recovery”. US President Joe Biden expressed worry and indicated he would speak with the King.
King Charles ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022, and was crowned the following May.
The Palace has yet to clarify whether the excursions will take place, and there is no set schedule for the King’s return to full public duties.
Buckingham Palace statement in full on King Charles
Several British royals have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer
King George VI, father of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Grand Father to King Charles III, faced a formidable foe in the form of lung cancer. This sovereign’s battle with the disease during the Second World War added a layer of complexity to an already tumultuous period. The world watched as the royal family navigated through this challenging time with resilience and grace.
King Charles III Uncle Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, died in Paris home in 1972 of throat cancer.
Princess Victoria, the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert died in 1901 from breast cancer at age 60.
The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson announced her breast cancer diagnosis in June 2023. Less than a year later, the Duchess of York revealed in January 2024 that she had received a second cancer diagnosis, malignant melanoma.
The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer throughout her time on the throne with husband George V (1936 to 1952), but they weren’t made public until years after her 2002 death at age 101.