King Charles says he is ‘doing well’ with cancer treatment as he speaks to D-Day heroes at memorial service

6 June 2024, 14:38 | Updated: 6 June 2024, 16:59

King Charles III speaks with D-Day veterans
King Charles III speaks with D-Day veterans. Picture: Getty

By Flaminia Luck

The King told a veteran he is ”doing well” as he and the Queen met with heroes who stormed the beaches at a D-Day memorial service marking the 80th anniversary.

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After attending the UK’s commemoration event in Ver-sur-Mer in Normandy on Thursday, Charles and Camilla visited a marquee where veterans were having tea and cakes.

On one table, the King sat beside Ronald Hendrey, 98, of Clacton-on-Sea, who asked about his health.

Mr Hendrey said: “He was very nice, he listened to what I was saying and took it in.

“I asked him how he was doing, he told me he is doing well.”

Yesterday, the King honoured the heroes of D-Day in his first public speech since being diagnosed with cancer.

King Charles speaks with D-Day veterans during a lunch
King Charles speaks with D-Day veterans during a lunch. Picture: Getty

The King shared his cancer diagnosis with the public in February.

Buckingham Palace has neither identified the form of cancer Charles has been diagnosed with, nor the King's treatment details.

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The King became emotional at the commemorative event
The King became emotional at the commemorative event. Picture: Alamy

The King wore his Field Marshal No 4 Tropical Service dress uniform, with medals and decorations for the national D-Day commemorative event in Ver-sur-Mer.

During the ceremony at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, Prince William, other dignitaries and members of the audience stood as one to applaud the veterans.

The elderly men, many in wheelchairs and wearing their medals, military uniforms or regimental berets, looked out over the sand dunes to the beach where 80 years ago to the day, the liberation of Europe began.

William, addressing veterans at the ceremony on Juno Beach said: "Thank you for our freedom, and thank you for your service."

He ending his speech by repeating his appreciation in French, saying: "Merci pour notre liberte, et merci pour votre service."

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King Charles, Queen Camilla, President Macron and his wife overlook Gold Beach and Juno Beach in northwestern France
King Charles, Queen Camilla, President Macron and his wife overlook Gold Beach and Juno Beach in northwestern France. Picture: Getty

At the commemorative event on Thursday, a D-Day veteran gave the Queen a white flower he received during the UK Normandy event because “she is a very nice person”.

Gilbert Clarke, 98, who was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, said of his meeting with Camilla: “I gave it to her because she is a very nice person.

“She took the time to talk to us, so I wanted to give it.”

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Queen Camilla receives a white rose from a veteran
Queen Camilla receives a white rose from a veteran. Picture: Getty

The King previously said the achievements of the D-Day veterans "can never diminish".

Charles said: "As the years pass, the veterans of the Normandy campaign become ever fewer in number.

"Over the past 40 years, I have had the great privilege of attending seven D-Day commemorations in Normandy and meeting so many distinguished veterans.

"Indeed, I shall never forget the haunting sight and sound of thousands of bemedaled figures proudly marching past into a French sunset on these beaches.

"Our ability to learn from their stories at first hand diminishes but our obligation to remember them, what they stood for and what they achieved for us all can never diminish."

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