In a recent announcement from Buckingham Palace, it was revealed that King Charles, at the age of 75, has been diagnosed with a form of cancer. This news comes after the King underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate, during which the cancer was discovered.
While the specific type of cancer remains undisclosed, Buckingham Palace has confirmed that King Charles has already commenced "regular treatments" starting this Monday. Buckingham Palace has expressed the King's optimistic outlook towards his treatment, emphasizing his eagerness to resume full public duties at the earliest opportunity.
However, in light of his current health situation, King Charles will temporarily step back from his public engagements. During this period, it is anticipated that other senior members of the royal family will step in to fulfill these responsibilities.
The Palace has chosen not to divulge further details regarding the stage of the cancer or its prognosis. Following his return from Sandringham in Norfolk, King Charles began his treatment as an outpatient in London. Despite the pause in his public appearances, the King will continue to perform his constitutional duties as the head of state.
This includes managing paperwork and conducting private meetings.
Royal Family Adjustments
If the head of state is unable to execute official duties, the constitution allows for "counsellors of state" to be appointed instead of the monarch.
Currently, this group includes Queen Camilla, Prince William, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward. Notably, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are no longer considered in this capacity as non-working royals. This announcement follows the recent news that Prince William had temporarily withdrawn from public engagements to assist his wife, Catherine, the Princess of Wales, during her recovery from abdominal surgery.
However, he is scheduled to return to his official duties later this week. BBC News has reported that the Duke of Sussex has been in contact with King Charles and plans to visit the UK shortly to see his father. Just a day before the announcement, the King was seen attending a church service in Sandringham, where he was observed waving to the gathered crowds.
King's Health Awareness Impact
Previously, King Charles had openly discussed his prostate treatment, aiming to encourage more men to undergo prostate checks. This openness was met with positive public response, as evidenced by a reported surge in inquiries about prostate conditions on the NHS website.
The diagnosis of King Charles highlights the increasing risk of cancer with age. In the UK, statistics indicate that more than a third (36%) of new cancer cases annually occur in individuals aged 75 and over. In response to this news, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have both extended their wishes for a swift and complete recovery to the King.