King Charles III resumes public activities despite cancer

(LONDON) A smiling King Charles III vowed on Tuesday that he was doing well, resuming public activities in London after three months out with cancer.


The 75-year-old king, who is still undergoing treatment, has symbolically chosen to visit a specialist cancer centre, along with Queen Camilla, 76. Arriving late in the morning in a Royal Bentley at the Macmillan Center at University College Hospital, the King spent forty minutes there in a blue suit.

“I asked him how are you, and he said, 'I'm fine,'” said Asha Millen, 60, who was treated for bone marrow cancer. “I have to be treated this afternoon too,” Raja told Leslie Woodbridge, 63, who had arrived for her chemotherapy session.

Walking slowly, King shook many hands and spoke with caregivers and patients. He sat next to several patients and held their hands. He accepted flowers from the children and gave them a gift before leaving with his wife, still in the Bentley.

Charles III wanted to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis with this first public dedication in three months.

“Her Majesty has made every effort to meet as many staff and patients as possible.” Patients were “delighted” to see him, hospital director David Probert said after an “incredibly inspiring visit”.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Charles III would resume a “limited number” of duties “carefully calibrated” in close consultation with his doctors.

Can't wait to start again

The palace said they were “extremely encouraged by the progress made so far and are hopeful of the King's continued recovery”.

The King and Queen will receive Japan's Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako on an unspecified date in June for a state visit at the invitation of the British government.

Other possible engagements – Royal Ascot, the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Trooping the Color in June, traditional garden parties – are closer to their date, subject to doctors' advice.

The palace announced in early February that Charles III was diagnosed with cancer after prostate surgery in January, nine months after his coronation in May 2023. His nature and progress were never mentioned, but the announcement of his illness was a minor revolution that broke the silence surrounding the sovereign's health until then.

Charles III then suspended his public activities, but continued his duties as a constitutional monarch, including signing laws, meeting the Prime Minister regularly, and vetting certain appointments.

King, who had been very active before his cancer, was eager to resume his public activities.

“I think he's very frustrated […] He can't do everything he wants to do,” his son-in-law Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne, announced on Sky News Australia in late March, adding that Charles III was “pushing” those around him. His doctors, too, do.

Cat

On Easter Sunday, his features drawn but happy, the king enjoyed a brief walk at the end of matins in the chapel of Windsor Castle.

2024 was a very difficult year for the British royal family. In addition to the king, Kate, Princess of Wales, is suffering from cancer, diagnosed in January after major stomach surgery.

Photo by Chris Jackson, Associated Press

William and Kate, November 21, 2023

The 42-year-old princess, star of the royal family, announced her illness in a moving video on March 22 and noted that she was undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

She did not mention the nature of her cancer, and no news filtered out of Kensington Palace governing her communication and that of her husband, Prince William, the heir to the throne.

The couple celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary on Monday. She has three children, George, 10, Charlotte, 8, and Louis, 6.

Apart from this brief video, the princess has not been seen in public since Christmas.

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