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Britain's King Charles to resume some public duties

April 26, 2024

Buckingham Palace confirmed that the UK monarch will restart his public-facing duties, nearly three months after being diagnosed with cancer.

King Charles III departs a clinic where he underwent a procedure for an enlarged prostate, in London, United Kingdom on January 29, 2021
The King has continued to fulfill his state duties while battling cancerImage: Victoria Jones/empics/picture alliance

Britain's King Charles III is to return to some public-facing duties next week, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday evening.

The UK monarch stepped back temporarily from public engagements after being diagnosed with an undisclosed cancer in February just 17 months into his reign.

However, the 75-year-old has kept up his state duties, including reviewing government papers and meeting with the prime minister, despite undergoing treatment.

'Big Lunch' to celebrate King Charles III

What did the Palace say?

Buckingham Palace released a statement saying that the King would "shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis."

The statement said he would visit a cancer treatment center next week with his wife, Queen Camilla, to meet medical specialists and patients.

The King will also "host Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan for a State Visit in June, at the request of HM Government," the statement continued.

A spokesman for the UK monarch said it was "too early to say" how much longer his treatment would continue.

But the medical team was said to be "very encouraged by the progress made so far and remain positive about the king's continued recovery."

Princess of Wales has begun treatment for cancer

Two cancer diagnoses in the family

The announcement follows a difficult spell for the royal family after both Charles and his 42-year-old daughter-in-law Catherine, Princess of Wales, revealed that they had cancer.

Catherine, the wife of heir to the throne Prince William, made the shock announcement that she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy just over a month ago in a video posted to social media.

Charles had been admitted for surgery for a benign prostate condition in January, which saw him spend several days in hospital.

Having both Charles and Kate fight serious illness has created an unprecedented crisis for the British monarchy.

Amid the king's commitment to cut costs and the decision of Duke and Duchess of Sussex — Prince Harry and Meghan — to resign from their royal duties, there are fewer family members available to stand in.

While the King had stepped back from public-facing duties, he made his most high-profile appearance over the Easter weekend, attending a Sunday church service at Windsor Castle, west of London.

mm/wmr (AFP, AP, Reuters)