King Charles ‘hugely positive’ about cancer treatment as world rallies behind monarch after shock diagnosis

6 February 2024, 00:03 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 00:07

King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer, it was revealed on Monday
King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer, it was revealed on Monday. Picture: Getty/Buckingham Palace
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

King Charles is feeling ‘wholly positive’ about his cancer treatment, Buckingham Palace has said, after the monarch's shock diagnosis.

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The monarch was diagnosed with a 'form of cancer', Buckingham Palace announced on Monday evening, as he underwent treatment for a separate health issue.

Charles received treatment for an enlarged prostate towards the end of January, but the palace has confirmed he does not have prostate cancer.

No details have yet been shared on the kind of cancer the king has, the stage of the cancer, or his prognosis.

Despite the shock revelation, the monarch is said to be in good spirits and "looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible", the palace said.

While he will temporarily suspend public engagements, Charles will continue to carry out private duties, including welcoming the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak once a week.

Meanwhile, the world has come together to wish the monarch well after his diagnosis, with a number of politicians putting out statements immediately after the update was shared.

Charles has cancer, the palace said
A new photo of King Charles was shared with his cancer diagnosis. Picture: Twitter

Mr Sunak said the entire country will be wishing King Charles well as his cancer diagnosis is confirmed.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Sunak: "Wishing His Majesty a full and speedy recovery.

"I have no doubt he'll be back to full strength in no time and I know the whole country will be wishing him well."

Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, added: "On behalf of the Labour Party, I wish His Majesty all the very best for his recovery. "We look forward to seeing him back to swift full health."

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Meanwhile, the US President Joe Biden said he was 'concerned' to hear about Charles' diagnosis, and said he is planning to speak to the monarch when he can.

"I just heard his diagnosis. Hopefully I'll be talking to him soon," Mr Biden said.

Joe Biden shares concern about King Charles' cancer diagnosis
Joe Biden shares concern about King Charles' cancer diagnosis. Picture: Getty

Like politicians and world leaders, celebrities sent their well-wishes to the King following his cancer diagnosis.

LBC's Carol Vorderman said she was "wishing King Charles a speedy recovery."

"And particular thoughts for everyone who's suffering with cancer or waiting for treatment right now. Wishing you the best," she wrote. 

Former England footballer and Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker said: "Really sorry to hear the news that King Charles has cancer.

"Awful news. Wish him a full and speedy recovery."

Actor David Suchet said: "My wife, Sheila, joins me in wishing King Charles III a very speedy recovery to full health.

"Wonderful that he has shared his cancer diagnosis so openly."

Cancer researcher highlights concerning wait times for cancer patients amid King Charles news

A statement from the palace said: "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.

"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 King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

"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."

Could Prince Harry's return to see King Charles be the 'spark for a reconciliation'?

Meanwhile, Harry is said to have spoken to Charles about his diagnosis.

He is expected to fly back to the UK to spend time with his father.

Prince William, on the other hand, is expected to take on more royal duties as his father recovers, as is Queen Camilla.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs on Monday evening: "I know the whole House will wish to join me in expressing our sympathies with His Majesty the King following the news announcement this evening.

"Our thoughts are, of course, with His Majesty and his family, and we'd all wish to send him our very best wishes for the successful treatment and a speedy recovery following tonight's news."

In Northern Ireland, Jeffrey Donaldson said: "Sending His Majesty the King every good wish as he commences his treatment.

"We pray for a full and speedy recovery."

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford also sent their best wishes to Charles.

Former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss also wished Charles a speedy recovery.

Mr Johnson said: "The whole country will be rooting for the King today. Best wishes to Charles III for a full and speedy recovery."

Ms Truss wrote on Twitter: "Sending every best wish to His Majesty The King and the Royal Family as he undergoes his treatment for cancer. He will be in our thoughts and prayers. God Save The King!"

Read More: 'I’m concerned about him': Joe Biden shares worry for King Charles amid cancer diagnosis and promises to reach out

Cancer experts told LBC that the fact that Charles had already begun treatment for cancer was a positive sign.

Professor Pat Price, oncologist and co-founder of the 'Catch Up with Cancer' campaign, said: "I think the fact that some treatment has been started is all very good news. And we also know that [with] half of all cancers, people survive ten years.

"And obviously, this has been caught early before he had any symptoms. So I think in a great place, obviously a worrying time, and a worrying time for everybody.

"But I think so good that they've introduced this, having the conversation and getting cancer back up there on the agenda. This is very important and very brave for them to do this, and really important for the nation."

King Charles diagnosed with cancer aged 75

Grant Harrold, a former butler to King Charles, told LBC's Andrew Marr that the King is "a very calm, collected individual... when things get thrown at him, he just gets on with it, and would stay relatively calm and relaxed about situations."

Mr Harrold suggested that Charles would likely stay at Highgrove during treatment, before going to Scotland later in his recuperation.

The King underwent a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate on January 26, the palace said at the time.

He also extended his stay at the private hospital, but then appeared in good spirits three days later as he climbed into a waiting car last week to return home.

Queen Camilla said that Charles was "fine" after he underwent treatment on his prostate.

Camilla visited him several times during his hospital stay and told reporters "he's fine, thank you" as she left.

His diagnosis is just the latest health scare to affect the royals family at the start of 2024.

The Princess of Wales underwent major abdominal surgery and Sarah, Duchess of York revealed she had skin cancer.

Charles, who acceded to the throne just 17 months ago, was last seen on Sunday when he attended church in Sandringham.

Charles has been King since September 2022, when his mother Queen Elizabeth died after more than 70 years on the throne.

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