Smiling King Charles breaks cover as he attends church in Sandringham following cancer diagnosis

11 February 2024, 11:20 | Updated: 11 February 2024, 11:55

Charles was seen heading to church on Sunday
Charles was seen heading to church on Sunday. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

King Charles has been seen waving with a smile while heading to church following his shock cancer diagnosis.

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King Charles walked alongside Camilla as he arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, on Sunday morning.

It marked his first public outing since Buckingham Palace announced that he had been diagnosed with a "form of cancer".

The King, who received treatment for an enlarged prostate last month, was forced to extend his hospital stay after it was discovered during tests.

He was seen in public for the first time on Tuesday as he left Clarence House the day after starting his treatment, following a brief reunion with Prince Harry.

Charles has postponed all public-facing duties, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.

Read more: Prince William 'still processing' King Charles' shock cancer diagnosis but 'remains determined to keep putting family first'

Read more: King Charles breaks silence to thank well-wishers who provided the 'greatest comfort' after his cancer diagnosis

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive to attend a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham
King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive to attend a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. Picture: Alamy

He broke his silence on Saturday to thank well-wishers for providing him the "greatest comfort" following his diagnosis.

The monarch said it was "equally heartening" to hear how sharing his diagnosis has helped to promote public understanding of cancer.

"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 said.

"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."

Prince William is said to still be processing King Charles' cancer diagnosis but remains determined to keep putting his family first.

"At times like this, it is a reminder that as well as being the future head of state, he is also a human being," a royal source told The Times.

"He is processing the news of his father having cancer as a human being. Given the seriousness with which he takes his role, of course it is something he will be thinking about."

King Charles and Queen Camilla attending St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham
King Charles and Queen Camilla attending St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham. Picture: Alamy

William is expected to continue prioritising his family, with royal aides saying he will not "deputise" for Charles.

"The Prince has always made clear that his priority is to support his wife and family for the time being – and he did not put a timescale on that," a source said.

He returned to royal duties last week after clearing his diary to support Kate in her recovery from "successful" abdominal surgery.

The couple have since gone to the Sandringham estate in Norfolk with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis for the half-term.

They are expected to visit the King during their stay.