King Charles stresses ‘importance of friendship in times of need’ in Easter message as royals face double cancer battle

28 March 2024, 01:24 | Updated: 28 March 2024, 05:48

King Charles recorded the Easter message earlier this month.
King Charles recorded the Easter message earlier this month. Picture: PA

By Jenny Medlicott

King Charles will thank those who ‘extend the hand of friendship in times of need’ in an Easter address to the public on Thursday.

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The address will be the King’s first comments to the public since the Princess of Wales revealed her cancer diagnosis last Friday.

Charles will stress the importance of friendship and renew his pledge “not to be served but to serve” in the pre-recorded message.

He is also set to say how Jesus set an “example of how we should serve and care for each other".

The broadcast, which was recorded in mid-March, will be broadcast in his absence at a Royal Maundy service in Worcester Cathedral on Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend.

The King, who is the head of the Church of England, will add in the message on Thursday that “we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need.”

He is also set to praise “the “wonderful examples of such kindness” performed by this year’s Maundy money recipients, who are “giving so much of their lives to the service of others in their communities”.

Charles announced that he had been diagnosed with a 'form of cancer' in February, after it was discovered during his treatment for an enlarged prostate.

It comes after the Princess of Wales revealed last week that she is receiving treatment for cancer in a shock announcement.

Read more: 'The Crown enhanced the monarchy’s image’: Sir Jonathan Pryce dismisses show's role in Kate conspiracy theories

Read more: 'Catherine is thrilled by the kind wishes and support': The Queen keeps up royal duties as Brits send Kate love

Kate announced her cancer diagnosis last Friday.
Kate announced her cancer diagnosis last Friday. . Picture: BBC Studios

Charles will not refer to the royal family’s personal circumstances in the Easter broadcast as Charles and Kate battle cancer at the same time.

It is likely, however, that the King’s words will be interpreted by the public as his reflection on the nation’s response to their cancer battles.

Charles has stepped back from large-scale public duties since his cancer diagnosis.

Ordinarily, he would have hoped to attend the service at Worcester Cathedral, where the monarch traditionally hands out purses full of Maundy Money.

However, Queen Camilla is set to deputise the ancient ceremony on Thursday in his place.

Although, Buckingham Palace did confirm that the King will attend the Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle alongside Camilla in one of his most significant events since his cancer diagnosis.

His Easter public address, which was recorded in Buckingham Palace’s 18th Century Room, will also include a Bible reading.

A photo released of the King ahead of the address shows him smiling while seated at a writing desk, with a vase of spring flowers in front of him.

Queen Camilla revealed on Wednesday that Kate has been “thrilled by all the kind wishes and support”.
Queen Camilla revealed on Wednesday that Kate has been “thrilled by all the kind wishes and support”. Picture: Alamy

It comes after Queen Camilla revealed on Wednesday that Kate has been “thrilled by all the kind wishes and support” sent to her by the public after she opened up about her treatment.

On a visit to a farmers’ market in Shrewsbury, Camilla met two young well-wishers who had made posters for Kate. She promised to deliver them, telling the girls: “I know that Catherine is thrilled by all the kind wishes and support.”

Camilla is the most senior royal to return to public-facing duties as the monarchy faces a double cancer scare.

Kate had been made the subject of intense online speculation over her health and whereabouts before she quashed them with her announcement last Friday.

Kate spoke publicly on Friday about the "huge shock" of finding out she had cancer following abdominal surgery earlier this year.

She said her family has experienced an "incredibly tough couple of months" in a video released to the public.

The Princess of Wales and her husband William have since thanked the public for the outpouring of support after the announcement.

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