British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday that King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis was fortunately “caught early.” Reflecting the sentiments of many, Sunak shared that he was “like everyone else … shocked and sad” upon hearing the news.
During a BBC radio interview, Sunak expressed his relief, saying, “Thankfully, this has been caught early and now everyone will be wishing him that he gets the treatment that that he needs and makes a full recovery.”
“He’ll just be in our thoughts and our prayers,” the prime minister explained. “Many families around the country listening to this will have been touched by the same thing, and they know what it means to everyone. So we’ll just be willing him on, and hopefully, we get through this as quickly as possible.”
When pressed for further details, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister informed journalists that his comments were influenced by a statement from Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace revealed on Monday that King Charles III, 75, received the cancer diagnosis. The palace shared in a statement, “During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted.” It further stated, “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.”
Details regarding the type of cancer diagnosed or its stage have not been disclosed. The announcement arrived just a week following the discharge of both Kate and King Charles from a private clinic in London after they underwent medical procedures. The King had a “corrective procedure” to address an enlarged prostate.
The release further stated, “His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.”
It also highlighted that the King’s decision to publicize his diagnosis was partly to curb speculation about his health and “in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”
The 75-year-old King returned to London from Sandringham in Norfolk on Monday morning and started outpatient treatment, according to the palace. While he will take a break from public appearances, the King will still carry out his duties as head of state, such as handling official documents and conducting private meetings. On Sunday, he was spotted at a church service in Sandringham, greeting the gathered crowd with a wave.
King Charles III came to power following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. Upon her passing, Charles immediately succeeded to the throne as the new monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. His ascension marked the beginning of his reign after being the heir apparent for more than seven decades, the longest in British history.
As the firstborn child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles had been prepared for the role of monarch throughout his life. His investiture as Prince of Wales took place in 1969, signifying his role as the heir apparent.