King 'wholly positive' about cancer treatment – as he apologises for postponing engagements

By John Mercury February 6, 2024

The King remains “wholly positive” about his treatment for cancer and “looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible”, Buckingham Palace has said.

However, the monarch, 75, will have to postpone or rearrange forthcoming public engagements following the diagnosis, according to the palace.

“His Majesty would like to apologise to all those who may be disappointed or inconvenienced as a consequence,” a statement released on behalf of the King said.

Follow latest: King chose to share diagnosis to ‘prevent speculation’

The King has begun a schedule of regular treatments and is said to be receiving expert medical care from a specialist team.

His diagnosis, announced on Monday, means it is unlikely he will attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on 11 March.

The Queen will continue to attend to a full programme of public duties.

Pic: PA
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave after attending a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave after attending a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Pic: PA

Meanwhile, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is understood to be travelling to the UK from his home in the US in the coming days to visit his father.

Other members of the Royal Family, including Prince William, the Prince of Wales, may take on some extra duties on behalf of the King during his treatment.

However, it is understood that these duties will not relate to the King’s constitutional role, and the monarch will continue to receive and review important documents in red boxes used by the monarch and government ministers.

It is understood that the King will continue to have weekly audiences with the prime minister while undergoing treatment, though these may be held remotely should medics advise him to reduce in-person contact.

He is also expected to remain available for meetings of the Privy Council, which usually meets once a month.

There has been no word yet, however, on upcoming overseas visits, with the King and Queen set to travel abroad for state events in the coming months.

They are due to travel to Canada in May, and then to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa in October for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Read more from Sky News:
The palace’s statement in full
Prince Harry to visit King
King’s health issues over the years

Royal historian and author, Kate Williams, told Sky News the diagnosis would be “difficult” for the King.

“Charles is often one of the most hard-working royals with many engagements, many activities, many charities,” she said.

“I think it is obviously going to be hard for him, because he won’t be able to do this, and we don’t know for how long.”

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It comes after it was announced the King had been diagnosed with a “form of cancer”, which came to light while the monarch was in hospital for treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Though the palace did not elaborate on the type of cancer, they said it was not prostate cancer and described it as a “second condition”.

Britain's Prince of Wales, right, and his son, Prince Harry, speak during a ceremony at the 57th Turkish Regiment cemetery and memorial site at the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, Saturday, April 25, 2015. As world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and ta
Prince Harry (pictured here with the King in 2015) is due to see his father in the coming days. Pic: AP

A palace spokesperson said: “His Majesty has been treated for benign prostate enlargement.

“It was during this intervention that the separate issue of concern was noted and subsequently diagnosed as a form of cancer.

“This second condition will now receive appropriate treatment.”

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What next for the King?

The King is said to have shared “his diagnosis to prevent speculation” and “in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer”.

The King travelled from Sandringham in Norfolk to London on Monday to start treatment as an outpatient. He spent the evening at home in London, most likely in Clarence House.

News of the King’s diagnosis comes after his daughter-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales, underwent abdominal surgery during a hospital stay of around two weeks.

Last month, Sarah, Duchess of York, the former wife of the King’s brother, Prince Andrew, announced she had been diagnosed with skin cancer, just six months after being treated for breast cancer.


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