Smiling King Charles in good spirits as he makes first major public appearance since cancer diagnosis

31 March 2024, 10:44 | Updated: 31 March 2024, 13:43

King Charles and Queen Camilla in Windsor this morning
King Charles and Queen Camilla in Windsor this morning. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

King Charles made his first major public appearance since his cancer diagnosis was revealed this morning, attending an Easter Sunday service in Windsor.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Before the service, Charles, 75, was seen smiling and waving to crowds as he arrived for the annual Easter Mattins Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Charles and Queen Camilla were joined by Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Sarah Ferguson.

One well-wisher shouted "Happy Easter", to which Charles responded: "And to you."

The Prince and Princess of Wales were not present, as Kate continues her cancer treatment.

King Charles was in good spirits
King Charles was in good spirits. Picture: Getty
King Charles
King Charles. Picture: Getty
King Charles greets well-wishers as they leave St. George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle
King Charles greets well-wishers as they leave St. George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle. Picture: Getty

Charles sat away from the rest of his family on the advice of his medical team as they seek to protect him from infection.

The King has been seen leaving Buckingham Palace and has hosted private audiences in recent weeks, but has stepped back from his public duties.

Earlier this week, a source told The Telegraph that the King’s appearance at the service is a “sign of things heading in the right direction”.

Read More: Princess Kate’s emotional cancer reveal ‘was inspired by major Queen Elizabeth speech’

Read More: King Charles ‘turning the dial’ towards resuming royal duties as he's set for first public appearance amid cancer battle

A source told the outlet the arrangements for Charles had been considered an “acceptable” environment and level of risk for the King two months into his cancer treatment.

They also described the plans as “turning the dial” toward resuming his ordinary programme, which will reportedly include the King hosting more guests for engagements at the palace as the summer approaches.

It does not mark an official return to public duties but is a "gentle first step".

Princess Kate reveals she has cancer
Princess Kate reveals she has cancer. Picture: Kensington Palace

Charles' first public appearances comes weeks after Princess Kate revealed her own cancer diagnosis.

The Princess of Wales was due to return to public duties after Easter but is now expected to come back later in the year.

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.

Both of the senior royals went to the London Clinic for surgery at the same time.

Royal commentator Michael Cole said the decision to announce her diagnosis was "hers alone".

"She was encouraged to make it by witnessing the public reaction to the news of the King's cancer, released by Buckingham Palace," he told MailOnline.

Ali Miraj says it's time to 'show a bit of kindness' towards Princess Kate

"The outpouring of concern worldwide, with messages of support flowing in an unending stream of kindness and encouragement, took the King by surprise, rather like Queen Victoria who wrote in her diary how surprised she was by people shouting they loved her as she drove through the crowds to her Golden Jubilee in 1887."

He continued: "Kate has grown close to the King, who has repeatedly referred to her as 'my beloved daughter-in-law'."As such, she was well aware of the public response to the revelation of the King's cancer and how it had affected him."

Mr Cole added: "The tone was absolutely right, with no false emphasis or hint of histrionics: just calm, dignified, straight forward - much like the Princess herself.

"The King was one of very few people given a preview of the young woman, sitting alone on a bench in her Breton sweater and blue jeans, in front of daffodils in full bloom, a traditional symbol of spring and new life."