Full timeline of Charles and Kate's diagnoses, battle and treatment with cancer

26 April 2024, 18:25 | Updated: 26 April 2024, 18:31

Kate and Charles
Kate and Charles. Picture: Getty Images

By Flaminia Luck

The Royal Family has been rocked after both King Charles and the Princess of Wales revealed their diagnoses with cancer this year.

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Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles was undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate in January.

At the same time, Kate underwent a planned abdominal surgery at a private London hospital.

In February, it was announced the King was diagnosed with cancer but exactly which type was not shared with the public.

In March, in a moving video message shared by the Princess of Wales, Kate revealed her diagnosis for cancer after weeks of speculation over her health.

Here's a full timeline of everything we know about their cancer diagnoses, treatment, and the recovery of King Charles and the Princess of Wales.

Read more: King Charles set to return to royal duties after doctors ‘very encouraged’ by progress made in cancer fight

Kate was last publicly seen at a Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church
Kate was last publicly seen at a Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church. Picture: Getty
  • January 16

Kate undergoes planned abdominal surgery.

Kensington Palace publicly shared the news that Kate was admitted to The London Clinic in January for planned abdominal surgery.

"The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery. Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.

"The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private."

At the time, it was understood her surgery was not cancerous.

  • January 17

Palace announces King receiving treatment for enlarged prostate

On the same day, Buckingham Palace also shared that King Charles would be undergoing treatment.

"In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate," Buckingham Palace said.

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure.

"The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.

"It is understood that King Charles wanted to share the specific details of his diagnosis so as to encourage others who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked."

General view of police officers outside The London Clinic
General view of police officers outside The London Clinic. Picture: Getty
  • January 26

King admitted to London Clinic

Upon his admittance, he visited Kate, who was also a patient there.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: "The King was this morning admitted to a London hospital for scheduled treatment.

"His Majesty would like to thank all those who have sent their good wishes over the past week and is delighted to learn that his diagnosis is having a positive impact on public health awareness."

The NHS reported that Internet searches for the condition, a benign enlarged prostate, had skyrocketed since the news broke.

They said on the day of the announcement, a webpage offering advice on prostate enlargement received 16,410 visits compared with 1,414 visits on Tuesday – a 1061% increase.

  • January 29

Both the King and Kate discharged from London Clinic

After spending three nights at the facility, Charles left the hospital on January 29.

He was photographed alongside his wife Queen Camilla who had visited him daily during his stay.

"The King was this afternoon discharged from hospital following planned medical treatment and has rescheduled forthcoming public engagements to allow for a period of private recuperation.

"He would like to thank the medical team and all those involved in supporting his hospital visit, and is grateful for all the kind messages he has received in recent days," the Palace said in a statement.

After 13 days in the hospital, Kate was also discharged.

"The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," Kensington Palace said in a statement.

"The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided. The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."

It was announced the King has cancer - but the Palace did not specify what kind
It was announced the King has cancer - but the Palace did not specify what kind. Picture: Getty
  • February 5

Palace announces Charles has cancer

One week after being discharged, Buckingham Palace announces King Charles was diagnosed with cancer.

The Palace did not share exactly what type of cancer he has but confirmed it was not prostate cancer.

The King personally told his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and siblings (Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward) prior to the news being made public.

"During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer," the Palace said in a statement.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual."

The statement added that the King remains "wholly positive" about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty.

"His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer," the statement added.

  • February 10

King shares first personal message since public diagnosis

The weekend after his cancer diagnosis was made public, the King shared a personal message."I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days," he wrote.

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement."

"It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world.

"My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience."

The King met with Rishi Sunak at Buckingam Palace
The King met with Rishi Sunak at Buckingam Palace. Picture: TheRoyalFamily/X
  • February 21

Charles holds meeting with Prime Minister

After stepping back from public duties amid treatment, the King held his first in-person meeting with Rishi Sunak since the news came out.

During their conversation, Charles told the PM: "I have had so many wonderful messages and cards. It’s reduced me to tears most of the time.

"Later that day, Charles read get-well cards that were sent to the Palace, and a photo and video of him reading the cards was shared two days later".

  • March 22

Kate's cancer diagnosis made public

Kate's cancer diagnosis was made public in a moving video message from the Princess. The news came after weeks of rampant speculation over her whereabouts.

The palace said it will not be sharing what type of cancer Kate has.

"The Princess has a right to medical privacy, as we all do," a Palace spokesperson said.

In her message, Kate said: "My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

The palace did not share a specific timeline regarding Kate's recovery, end to her chemotherapy treatment, or when she could return to her public duties.

King reacts to Kate's diagnosis

After the Princess's cancer diagnosis was made known, King Charles said he is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."

They added both King Charles and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family throughout this difficult time."

  • March 31

King attends Easter Services in Windsor

Charles met well wishers leaving an Easter Service at Windsor Castle

King Charles III alongside Queen Camilla at Windsor Castle
King Charles III alongside Queen Camilla at Windsor Castle. Picture: Getty
  • 26 April

King announces return to public duties

Buckingham Palace announced King Charles’s doctors are “pleased” with the progress he is making in his fight with cancer and he will resume “a number” of public duties.

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