King Charles III has cancer and is receiving treatment, Buckingham Palace says

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace said Monday. Less than 18 months into his reign, the 75-year-old monarch will suspend public duties but will continue with state business, and won’t be handing over his constitutional roles as head of state.

The palace didn’t say what form of cancer the king has, but said it’s not related to the king’s recent treatment for a benign prostate condition.

The palace said “a separate issue of concern was noted” during Charles’ treatment for an enlarged prostate last month, when he spent three nights in a London hospital.

“Diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” it said in a statement.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” the palace said. “Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”

The king is being treated as an outpatient, the palace said.

It said Charles “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

The palace added that the king “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.”

Charles became king in September 2022 when his mother Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96.

News of the king’s diagnosis comes as his daughter-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales, recovers from abdominal surgery that saw her hospitalized for about two weeks.

Kate is still taking a break from royal duties as she recovers. Her husband, Prince William, who is heir to the throne, also took time off to help look after the couple’s three children, but is due to preside over an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The king’s other son, Prince Harry, who quit royal duties in 2020 and moved to California, is expected to fly to the U.K. in the coming days to see his father.

U.K. political leaders sent messages of support. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “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.”

Charles departed from royal tradition with his openness about his prostate condition. For centuries Britain’s royal family remained tight-lipped about health matters.

When U.K. monarchs had real power, news of illness was withheld for fear it might weaken their authority. The habit of secrecy lingered after royals became constitutional figureheads.

The British public wasn’t told that Charles’ grandfather, King George VI, had lung cancer before his death in February 1952 at the age of 56.

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