King Charles waves to crowds on first sighting since cancer diagnosis as he leaves London home to fly to Sandringham

6 February 2024, 16:00 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 18:50

King Charles and Queen Camilla left Clarence House on Tuesday
King Charles and Queen Camilla left Clarence House on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

King Charles has been seen for the first time since his cancer diagnosis, as he smiled and waved to crowds from a car before flying out of London.

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The King and Queen Camilla were pictured leaving Clarence House, their London residence, and flying off to Sandringham, the royal residence in Norfolk.

Charles had earlier spent around half an hour with Prince Harry, who arrived in the UK on Tuesday to spend time with his father.

The King is said to be on "good form" after his cancer diagnosis was announced on Monday evening, the same day he began his treatment.

A helicopter was seen landing on a helipad on the roof of Buckingham Palace, a short distance from Clarence House. It departed, with Charles and Camilla thought to be inside.

Read more: Harry appears sombre as he arrives at Clarence House to be at father King Charles' side amid shock cancer diagnosis

Read more: King Charles' cancer diagnosis: everything we know so far as Harry rushes home and William and Camilla to step up

There are currently no plans for William and Harry to meet while the Duke of Sussex is in the UK, despite Harry's hopes.

Sources close to Harry told the Mirror: “The Duke's primary reason to travel to the UK is to visit his father. If the opportunity were to arise to see the Prince of Wales then the Duke would have gladly accepted it.”

The Prince of Wales, however, remains focused on looking after his wife, Kate, who is recovering from abdominal surgery and will be out of action until after Easter.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House in London
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House in London. Picture: Alamy
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House in London
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House in London. Picture: Alamy
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House. Picture: Alamy

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday evening at 6pm that Charles had cancer.

He does not have prostate cancer, although the disease was discovered during treatment for a benign enlarged prostate.

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

The palace said that Charles would continue some of his duties, while stepping back from public-facing work.

Prince William, who has taken time off from public duties this year to care for his wife Kate after she underwent abdominal surgery, is now back to work himself.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House
King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House. Picture: Alamy
A helicopter departs from Buckingham Palace believed to be carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla in London
A helicopter departs from Buckingham Palace believed to be carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla in London. Picture: Alamy
A helicopter departs from Buckingham Palace believed to be carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla
A helicopter departs from Buckingham Palace believed to be carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Picture: Alamy

Queen Camilla is also expected to step up her public engagements as Charles undergoes treatment and recuperates.

Buckingham Palace's statement read: "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.

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

"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."

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