Buckingham Palace did not specify the type of cancer but said Britain’s monarch would postpone his public engagements during his treatment.
Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer, prompting him to suspend his public engagements for treatment. This news comes shortly after the 75-year-old monarch’s recent hospital discharge following a procedure for an enlarged prostate.
Although the palace did not specify the type of cancer Charles has, it clarified that it is not prostate cancer. The diagnosis was made during his recent hospital stay, with treatment commencing immediately.
The revelation has stirred emotions across Britain, where the transition to Charles’ reign has begun following Queen Elizabeth II’s lengthy rule. Despite his lengthy wait to ascend the throne, Charles is a familiar figure to the public, having endured years of scrutiny from the British media regarding his personal life.
As king, however, Charles has become a confident elder statesman, putting a subtle but unmistakable stamp on the monarchy. He has traveled widely and spoken out on issues like climate change that have long been important to him.
Anxiety for Charles mixed with hope that he would recover swiftly. But in the absence of details about his condition, there was, inevitably, speculation, as royal watchers parsed the palace’s four-paragraph announcement.
“During the king’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted,” the palace said. “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer. His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.”
Palace officials said the king would continue to carry out other duties, including his weekly meeting with the prime minister, as well as the daily pile of paperwork he completes as Britain’s head of state. Officials said there were no plans to appoint counselors of state to act in his place — a procedure that could signal that the sovereign was unable to fulfill his duties because of illness.
The palace said Charles “remains wholly positive about his treatment” and that he looked forward to resuming public engagements. He returned to London from his country residence, Sandringham, to begin treatment as an outpatient, palace officials said.
Charles, who ascended to the throne in September 2022, has generally been in good health. As a schoolboy, he suffered from recurring tonsillitis, but as an adult, he enjoyed vigorous sports like hiking, polo and skiing.
The British Royal Family
- Charles’s Cancer Diagnosis: King Charles III has been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and is suspending public engagements to undergo treatment.
- A Period of Troubling Health News: Charles’s diagnosis comes as Catherine, the Princess of Wales, spent almost two weeks in the hospital after undergoing abdominal surgery, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, said that she had been diagnosed with melanoma.
- Prince Harry’s Libel Claim: Barely a month after winning a landmark phone-hacking lawsuit against a British publisher, Prince Harry withdrew an unrelated libel suit against the publisher of another tabloid paper, The Mail on Sunday.
he king’s disclosure of the prostate treatment, and now of his cancer diagnosis, is unusual for the royal family, whose members often reveal little about their health. After the queen’s death at 96, the palace issued her death certificate, which listed her cause of death simply as “old age.”
Still, palace officials on Monday made clear that they would not issue regular updates on the king’s condition, and they asked reporters not to attempt to contact those involved in his treatment.
The palace said in its statement that the king had chosen to share 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.”
Prince Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, has been in contact with his father and intends to travel to Britain to visit him, as reported by the BBC. Harry’s relationship with the royal family has been strained since he and his wife, Meghan, announced their decision to step back from official duties and relocate to California.
Despite Charles’s illness, Queen Camilla will continue to fulfill her official engagements. She was a frequent presence at his side during his recent hospitalization for prostate treatment at the London Clinic.
Charles’s health concerns come amidst a series of health issues within the royal family. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, recently underwent abdominal surgery and spent nearly two weeks in the hospital. While she has been discharged, Kensington Palace has provided limited updates on her recovery, which is expected to extend beyond the Easter holiday.