Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer

  • By Sean Coughlan
  • State Correspondent

image source, Good pictures

Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles is suffering from cancer.

The type of cancer was not disclosed — it was not prostate cancer, but was discovered during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate.

The monarch began “routine treatments” on Monday and will postpone public duties while undergoing treatment, the palace said.

It added that King, 75, “is completely positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public activity as soon as possible.”

No further details about the cancer's stage or prognosis were shared.

Charles has privately informed both of his sons of his diagnosis and the Prince of Wales is said to be in regular contact with his father.

The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who lives in the US, has spoken to his father and will travel to England to visit him in the coming days.

The monarch returned to London from Sandringham in Norfolk on Monday morning and began outpatient treatment, the palace said.

Although he will suspend his public events, the king will continue his constitutional role as head of state, which includes papers and private meetings.

It is understood that his weekly meetings with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will continue and he will remain in person until doctors advise him to limit such contact.

King Charles' cancer diagnosis

It currently includes Queen Camilla, Prince William, the Princess Royal and Prince Edward. Prince Harry and the Duke of York are no longer invited as they are non-working royals.

Prince William has temporarily stepped back from public engagements as his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, recovers from stomach surgery last month.

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WATCH: BBC Six O'Clock News announces King's cancer diagnosis

The monarch was spotted at a church service in Sandringham on Sunday, where she waved to the crowd and walked for about 10 minutes.

A week ago he underwent prostate surgery at a private hospital in London.

At the time, the Palace said the treatment was for a “benign” condition.

“It was during this intervention that an isolated issue of concern was noticed and subsequently diagnosed as a form of cancer,” it said on Monday.

The royal chose to go public about his cancer treatment because he was a patron of many cancer-related charities during his time as Prince of Wales, the palace said.

“In this context, Her Majesty has often spoken publicly in support of cancer patients, their loved ones and the wonderful healthcare professionals who help care for them.”

And with the goal of encouraging men to get prostate exams, he has gone public about his prostate treatment.

He is said to be pleased that the NHS website has raised awareness of the problem by reporting an increase in problems with prostate conditions.

The Royal Society of Medicine thanked the monarch for highlighting “how blind cancer can be” and urged eligible members of the public to make an appointment for cancer screening.

“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 appropriate treatment path,” said its president, Dr J Verma.

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King's cancer was diagnosed during treatment for an enlarged prostate

One in two people in the UK will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

There are more than 200 types of cancer – the most common in England are breast, lung, prostate and bowel, according to the NHS website.

For many types of cancer, the chance of getting it increases with age. UK statistics show that on average, a third (36%) of new cancers are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over each year.

The monarch wished her a “full and speedy recovery”, as did Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Charles acceded to the throne on the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, in September 2022, and his coronation took place in May.

The King and Queen will visit Canada in May and Australia, New Zealand and Samoa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in October.

While no date has been suggested for the King's return to full public duties, the palace has yet to confirm whether the tours will continue.

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Additional reporting by George Bowden

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