King Charles Has Cancer. Here’s What to Know.

By John Mercury February 8, 2024

On Monday night, Buckingham Palace made a sudden announcement that King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer, less than 18 months after beginning his reign. He is receiving outpatient treatment in London.

The British monarch’s diagnosis prompted an outpouring of sympathy from leaders around the world, with President Biden saying that he was praying for “a swift and full recovery,” and the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, describing himself as “shocked and sad” at the news. “He’ll just be in our thoughts and our prayers,” Mr. Sunak told BBC radio on Tuesday. “Many families around the country listening to this will have been touched by the same thing.”

Here is what to know about the king’s condition and its implications for Britain’s monarchy.

Not very much. Buckingham Palace said on Monday night that “a form of cancer” had been diagnosed, but did not state what kind, and asked that reporters not try to contact those involved in Charles’s care.

The palace said that doctors had identified “an issue of concern” while treating Charles, 75, last month for an enlarged prostate. They confirmed cancer — though not prostate cancer — with subsequent tests.

Charles, the statement added, began a schedule of regular treatments on Monday, and “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

Mr. Sunak, who has spoken to Charles about his cancer, told BBC radio, “Thankfully, this has been caught early.” A spokesman for the prime minister’s office said later that this was a reference to the palace statement, which cited a “swift intervention” by medics.


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