Published: 2024-02-06 13:43
Last Updated: 2024-02-25 18:48
Less than a year and a half into his reign as the British monarch, King Charles III has entered a battle against an unspecified type of cancer, with the announcement on Monday, Feb. 5, sending shockwaves throughout the United Kingdom.
The 75-year-old King's image dominated the front pages of all British newspapers, with The Sun titling, "I Have Cancer," while The Mirror headlined, "King's Cancer Shock," and The Telegraph straightforwardly stated, "King Has Cancer."
The King himself affirmed being "very optimistic" about the treatment he commenced on Monday and has no intention to completely halt his duties leading the United Kingdom and 14 other nations.
However, while recuperating from prostate surgery, his absence seemed longer than anticipated, coinciding with the recovery of Princess Kate, wife of the heir to the throne, William, following her own surgery.
As a result, the responsibilities now fall to Queen Camilla and Prince William, who will resume their activities on Wednesday, representing the monarchy before the public.
Buckingham Palace clarified Monday evening that during the recent surgery the King underwent due to benign prostate enlargement, another issue was discovered, and subsequent tests revealed a form of cancer.
The Palace emphasized that the new health issue is not prostate cancer.
The King commenced "a regular course of treatments on Monday, during which doctors advised him to postpone his public engagements," according to Buckingham Palace. However, he will continue "to attend to state matters and administrative duties as usual."
- Harry's visit -
Without delay, Prince Harry, the younger son of Charles who lives in California, announced his intention to return to the United Kingdom to see his father despite the severe tension between him and his family.
He will attend alone, without his wife Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet, as was the case during his father's coronation, according to British newspapers.
After the diagnosis was announced, US President Joe Biden emphasized the "courage" required to face cancer, while French President Emmanuel Macron sent "feelings of friendship" to the King, joining the well-wishes for a speedy recovery pouring in from the British political class, including Scottish separatists and Republicans in Northern Ireland.
Similarly, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi "joined the people of India," the former colony of the British Crown, in "wishing for a speedy recovery and good health" for King Charles III.
King Charles opted for transparency regarding the surgery he underwent to treat prostate enlargement and decided to "disclose his cancer diagnosis to avoid speculation and in hopes of helping the public understand those affected by this disease worldwide."
The announcement of his prostate problem was entirely contrary to the secrecy that surrounded the health of Queen Elizabeth II in the years leading up to her death on Sep. 8, 2022, at the age of 96, after ruling the British throne for 70 years, a record in British monarchy.
This comes at a time when Kate, the wife of the heir to the throne, William, entered the hospital on Jan. 16 for stomach surgery, which remained surrounded by secrecy. She has not appeared publicly since she was seen with the rest of the family at Christmas.
Kensington Palace announced a week ago that she had left the private clinic in London where she underwent this surgery and that she was recuperating at the family's home in Windsor, west of London.
The reasons for the surgery are still unclear, but it is not cancer, according to British media.
Similarly, William, the eldest son of King Charles III, suspended his public duties to prioritize his family. However, his office announced Monday that he would attend an honoring ceremony in Windsor on Wednesday and then a charity event in London.