British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday he was “shocked and sad” to learn that King Charles III had cancer, but he was relieved that the disease was detected early.
Buckingham Palace announced Monday evening that the king had begun outpatient treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer. It was discovered during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate, but is not linked to the condition, the palace said.
“Luckily it was caught early,” Sunak told BBC radio, adding that as prime minister he would “continue to communicate with him as normal”.
“He will just be in our thoughts and prayers. Many families across the country listening to this will have been affected by the same thing and know what this means for everyone,” Sunak said. “So we’re just going to ask him to do it and hopefully we get out of this as quickly as possible.”
Less than 18 months into his reign, the 75-year-old monarch has suspended his public engagements but will continue his state activities – including his weekly meetings with the prime minister – and will not relinquish his constitutional duties as head of state .
The palace said Charles, who enjoys generally good health, “remains fully positive about his treatment and hopes to return fully to public duties as soon as possible.”
Charles became king in September 2022 when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died aged 96 after 70 years on the throne.
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News of the king’s diagnosis comes as his daughter-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales, recovers from an abdominal operation which saw her hospitalized for around two weeks.
Kate is still taking a break from royal duties while recovering. Her husband, Prince William, heir to the throne, has also taken time off to care for her and the couple’s three children, but is due to preside over an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and a charity dinner on Wednesday.
The king’s youngest son, Prince Harry, who stepped down from royal duties in 2020 and moved to California, has spoken to his father about the diagnosis and “will be traveling to the UK to see Her Majesty in the coming days”, he said. indicated Harry’s office. and his wife, Meghan. British media reported that he was on his way from Los Angeles on Tuesday.
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King Charles diagnosed with cancer has started treatment, Buckingham Palace says
Charles came to the throne intending to preside over a slimmer monarchy with fewer royals performing ceremonial public duties. But with Charles and Kate temporarily sidelined, Prince Harry self-exiled in California and Prince Andrew largely banned from view over his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the royal ‘Firm’ risks to be seriously overwhelmed.
King Charles diagnosed with cancer, Buckingham Palace says
William and Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla, are both expected to take on additional public commitments during the king’s treatment. There are currently no plans to use “state councilors” – members of the royal family, including the queen and heir to the throne – to replace the monarch in constitutional tasks such as signing laws and the reception of ambassadors.
World leaders sent Charles their best wishes, including US President Joe Biden, who tweeted: “Jill and I join the people of the United Kingdom in praying for Her Majesty’s speedy and full recovery.” »
Charles deviated from royal tradition by being open about his prostate problem. For centuries, the British royal family has remained tight-lipped on health matters.
Disclosing information about one’s cancer diagnosis – albeit in a limited way – is another break from tradition.
Buckingham Palace said the king “chose to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope that it may help the public understand all those around the world affected by cancer.”
© 2024 The Canadian Press