- Written by Sean Coughlan
- Royal correspondent
Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer.
The type of cancer has not been revealed – it is not prostate cancer, but was discovered during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate.
The palace said the king began “regular treatments” on Monday and will postpone public duties during treatment.
The statement added that the 75-year-old king “remains completely positive about the treatment he received and looks forward to returning to full public service as soon as possible.”
No other details about the stage or diagnosis of the cancer are shared.
The King personally informed his two sons of his diagnosis, and the Prince of Wales was said to be in regular contact with his father.
The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who lives in the United States, spoke with his father and will travel to the United Kingdom to see him in the coming days.
The king returned to London from Sandringham in Norfolk on Monday morning and the palace says he has begun treatment as an outpatient.
Although he will temporarily suspend his public events, the king will continue his constitutional role as head of state, including paperwork and private meetings.
There is a constitutional mechanism for when the head of state is unable to carry out his official duties – in this case “state advisors” can be appointed to replace the king.
At present this includes Queen Camilla, Prince William, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward. Prince Harry and the Duke of York will no longer be called non-working royals.
Prince William has also temporarily withdrawn from public engagements while helping his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, as she recovers from “abdominal surgery.”
He had undergone prostate surgery in a private London hospital more than a week ago.
The palace said at the time that the king chose to announce his prostate treatment with the aim of encouraging more men to undergo prostate examinations.
He was said to be happy to raise awareness of the issue, with the NHS website reporting an increase in problems related to prostate disease.
For many types of cancer, the chance of developing it increases with age. UK figures show that, on average, each year, more than a third (36%) of new cancer cases were in people aged 75 or over.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wished the king a “full and speedy recovery”, as did Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
Full palace statement
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