In a shocking announcement, Buckingham Palace has disclosed that King Charles III has been diagnosed with a form of cancer. The exact type of cancer has not been revealed, but it was discovered during recent treatment for an enlarged prostate. The 75-year-old monarch has initiated “regular treatments” and will temporarily postpone public duties.
The Palace reported that King Charles remains optimistic about his treatment and eagerly anticipates returning to full public duty as soon as possible. However, no details have been provided regarding the stage of cancer or a prognosis.
The King personally informed both his sons of the diagnosis, with the Prince of Wales maintaining regular contact. Prince Harry, currently residing in the United States, has spoken to his father and is expected to travel to the UK in the coming days.
Despite putting public events on hold, King Charles will continue fulfilling his constitutional role as the head of state, including paperwork and private meetings. Weekly audiences with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will persist in person unless medical advice suggests limiting such contact.
If the head of state cannot carry out official duties, a constitutional mechanism allows appointing “counselors of state” to stand in. The current list includes Queen Camilla, Prince William, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward. Prince Harry and the Duke of York, as non-working royals, are no longer part of this arrangement.
King Charles underwent a prostate procedure more than a week ago, initially described as treatment for a “benign” condition. However, during the intervention, a separate cancer issue was identified and diagnosed.
The decision to make the cancer treatment public was influenced by King Charles’s previous role as a patron of cancer-related charities when he was Prince of Wales. He had previously raised awareness about prostate conditions, resulting in increased awareness and screenings.
Various political figures, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, have extended their well-wishes for the King’s recovery. U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his concern and pledged to speak with the King.
The King, who ascended to the throne in September 2022 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, is scheduled for international visits, including Canada in May and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October. The Palace has not confirmed whether these tours will proceed, and no date has been suggested for the King’s return to full public duties.
Buckingham Palace Statement in Full: