Sunak: I am shocked, sad about King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis


British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said that he is thankful King Charles III’s cancer had been “detected early” as he wished him a full recovery.

Charles, 75, is facing regular treatment for cancer after his shock diagnosis was uncovered during his recent hospital stay for a procedure on an enlarged prostate.

The king, who has postponed all his public duties, returned to London from Sandringham on Monday and has already begun his medical care as an outpatient under the supervision of his specialist team of doctors.

Sunak said he was left shocked and sad when he was told about the king’s cancer diagnosis.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “All our thoughts are with him and his family.

“Thankfully, this has been caught early.”

He said that everyone will be hoping the king “gets the treatment that he needs and makes a full recovery.”

“That’s what we’re all hoping and praying for, and I’m, of course, in regular contact with him and will continue to communicate with him as normal.”

Asked what it meant for the day-to-day running of the country, Sunak said “We’ll crack on with everything.”

“He’ll just be in our thoughts and our prayers, many families around the country listening to this will have been touched by the same thing and they know what it means to everyone,” he said.

“So we’ll just be willing him on and hopefully we get through this as quickly as possible.”

Buckingham Palace confirmed the king, who only acceded to the throne 17 months ago, does not have prostate cancer.

Further details of his condition have not been disclosed, and the Palace, which announced the news in a statement at 6 pm (1800 GMT) on Monday, asked for privacy and only confirmed it is a “form of cancer.”

Charles was diagnosed after a separate issue of concern was noted and investigated while he was being treated for his benign prostate condition.

Prince Harry has cleared his diary to fly to the UK to be with his father in spite of their troubled relationship, raising concerns about the seriousness of the king’s health.

Harry’s black Range Rover was pictured arriving at a private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport before he boarded a flight due to land around midday, according to The Sun newspaper.

Meanwhile, Prince William’s return to official duties this week, in the aftermath of his wife Kate’s abdominal surgery, was announced just hours before news of the king’s diagnosis, suggesting William is stepping up while his father is unwell.

William is likely to be undertaking some duties on his father’s behalf, it is understood, but counselors of state, who are appointed when a monarch cannot fulfill their duties as head of state, are not expected to be needed.

The king will still be dealing with his red boxes of state business and official papers, and holding Privy Council meetings, which can be held via video and weekly audiences with the prime minister, which can take place over the phone.

Charles personally called Harry and William, as well as his siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward, to give them the news before it was publicly announced.

The palace has called for the king’s privacy to be respected, especially during his treatment, but said he wanted to make his diagnosis public because of his long-running support for cancer charities.

This is the latest major royal health scare to hit the monarchy at the start of 2024, coming after the king’s hospital stay, Kate’s major surgery, keeping her away from official duties until after Easter, and Sarah, duchess of York’s skin cancer diagnosis.


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