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Everything you need to know about King Charles’ cancer diagnosis

King Charles III is undergoing treatment for cancer, a statement from Buckingham Palace reveals this morning. Here’s what we know so far. 


It was only weeks ago that King Charles III, reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, underwent treatment for benign prostate enlargement

Now, a new statement released by the palace on behalf of the King has revealed another, far more serious diagnosis– cancer. While the details of the King’s diagnosis, such as type and stage, have not yet been disclosed to the public, the Palace’s transparency is an example of the King’s modern approach to monarchy. 

“His Majesty has 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,” the statement says.

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Weeks ago, the 75-year-old King’s routine procedure was reported as a byproduct of the natural ageing process, giving his loving family and loyal subjects little to worry about. The public was informed the monarch would be admitted to a private London hospital for treatment, resuming his regular public duties shortly thereafter. 

However, as the palace’s latest statement says, the King’s cancer diagnosis was picked up during the treatment for his enlarged prostate, prompting a swift response from medical staff and Palace operations. 

“During the king’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” the statement shares. 

The King, who was seen enjoying a church service in Sandringham on Sunday, began ‘regular treatments’ on Monday as an outpatient. Given his healthy lifestyle, and the early detection of his condition, the Palace is hopeful the King will respond well to treatment and will resume his pubic duties in due course. 

The Royal Family’s response

The King’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were reportedly informed of their father’s diagnosis prior to the public statement being released. Prince Harry, who renounced his official duties as a senior member of the Royal Family along with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020, is said to be travelling back to the UK to see the King. 

His oldest son, Prince William, is currently temporarily withdrawn from public duties to support his wife, Catherine Princess of Wales, who is recovering from abdominal surgery. 

It is understood the wider members of the family will step up and take over the King’s public commitments while he undergoes treatment for his cancer. 

What happens when a monarch is ill?

Unlike cashing in one of your token sick days in the office, taking time off is a little more complicated when you’re the country’s head of State and Church. But, like any well-oiled institution, the British royal family has an operational system in place for such an event. 

While the King’s public duties will be postponed or taken over by other members of the family, he will continue his constitutional role as head of State in a private capacity, such as Privy Council meetings and official paperwork. 

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