King returns to official public duties for first time since cancer diagnosis

UK

King Charles will return to official public duties later for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer.

The monarch, who is the patron of Macmillan Cancer Support, will visit a cancer treatment centre to meet medical specialists and other patients, along with the Queen.

He decided to announce he had cancer at the beginning of February.

Since then, cancer charities have praised his openness and the impact it’s had on raising public awareness, along with the Princess of Wales also talking about her diagnosis.

The aim of today’s visit, where he will meet larger numbers of people for the first time, is to draw attention to the importance of early diagnosis and highlight innovative research, supported by Cancer Research UK, taking place at the hospital.

Queen Camilla, speaks to Tracy Edwards as she hosts a reception for the 'Maiden' yachting crew, at Clarence House..
Pic: PA

Pic: PA
Image:
Queen Camilla, pictured here on Monday, is also due to attend the event. Pic: PA

On Friday, the palace announced that the King was “greatly encouraged” to be given the green light by doctors to return to some public-facing duties.

Sources have stressed that despite the welcome news, the King still has cancer and will continue to be treated for the undisclosed form of the disease.

The Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “His Majesty’s treatment programme will continue, but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far that the King is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties.”

They added: “Forthcoming engagements will be adapted where necessary to minimise any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery.”


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The King has continued to carry on with his constitutional work behind the scenes and held small meetings inside the palace, including with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

At Easter, he made a point of greeting crowds who had turned out to see him attend the church service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, which was seen as a hint that more public-facing engagements could soon follow.

Palace officials continue to plan for a busy summer and autumn of events but will work around the caveat that plans may need to change depending on the King’s health and doctors’ advice.

King Charles III with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace, London, for their first in-person audience since the King's diagnosis with cancer. Picture date: Wednesday February 21, 2024.
Image:
The King pictured during his first in-person audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in February. Pic: PA

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The summer months are always a busy period for the Royal Family with events like Trooping the Colour, Garter Day, and Royal Ascot.

There is also the prospect of overseas travel towards the end of the year, as Samoa is hosting the biennial meeting of Commonwealth leaders.

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