King Charles pictured back at work as he says messages of support after cancer diagnosis ‘reduced him to tears’

21 February 2024, 18:31 | Updated: 21 February 2024, 19:12

King Charles pictured back at work as he says messages of support after cancer diagnosis ‘reduced him to tears’
King Charles pictured back at work as he says messages of support after cancer diagnosis ‘reduced him to tears’. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

King Charles said he was 'reduced to tears' by wellwishers following his cancer diagnosis as he thanked the public for their cards and supportive messages.

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The monarch was pictured back at work for the first time at Buckingham Palace as he held his first audience with the prime minister since his cancer diagnosis was revealed.

Rishi Sunak said: “It’s wonderful to see you looking so well," as he met with the 75-year-old King for the first time since before Christmas.

“We’re all behind you, the country’s behind you," he continued.

The King said in response: "I’ve had so many wonderful messages and cards and it reduces me to tears most of the time.”

King Charles III with Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace for their first in-person audience since the King's diagnosis with cancer, Wednesday
King Charles III with Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace for their first in-person audience since the King's diagnosis with cancer, Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

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The two also discussed how the King's announcement of his cancer diagnosis had "shone a spotlight" on the disease.

“I hear there has been a lot more attention and interest on those main, wonderful cancer charities, many of which I’ve been patron of for years," the King said.

Mr Sunak had not held an audience with the King since before Christmas on December 13. Meetings between the monarch and the prime minister usually take place once a week during non-holiday periods.

Ahead of his meeting with Mr Sunak today, Charles held an in-person Privy Council at the royal residence, where attendees included Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt.

James Cleverly, the home secretary, and Alister Jack, the secretary of state for Scotland, and Gilliam Keagan, the education secretary, were also in attendance. MP Michael Tomlinson was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council during the session.

The King, who has still been dealing with royal duties like his red boxes of State papers, started outpatient treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer just over two weeks ago.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla, attend the Sunday morning service at St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham following the public announcement that he has been diagnosed with cancer
King Charles III and Queen Camilla, attend the Sunday morning service at St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham following the public announcement that he has been diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Alamy

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Read More: King Charles returns to London for more cancer treatment after public appearance at Sandringham

It comes after the King flew from Sandringham to Windsor Castle yesterday to hold a meeting about the royal estate, where he stayed overnight.

Charles is expected to travel elsewhere from Buckingham Palace in central London for the weekend.

Public concern for the King initially grew after the Palace announced Charles was undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Earlier this month on February 5 it was announced the King had been diagnosed with a 'form of cancer'. The Palace stressed it was not prostate cancer, but did not specify the exact type.

King Charles III and Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak smile during their meeting in Buckingham Palace, Wednesday
King Charles III and Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak smile during their meeting in Buckingham Palace, Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

Last week, the King's youngest son Prince Harry suggested in an interview with a US breakfast TV show that his father's illness could lead to a reconciliation between them.

The Duke of Sussex told the programme: "I love my family", adding that he was "grateful" to be able to spend time with his father when he flew back to the UK in the days following his father's diagnosis.

The duke's whirlwind visit to see his father for around 45 minutes prompted speculation the two men, estranged since the duke stepped down as a working royal, may be on the point of rebuilding their relationship.

In the interview, aired on Good Morning America, it was suggested a family illness could have a "re-unifying effect", and when Harry was asked "is that possible in this case?" he replied: "Yeah, I'm sure."

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