King Charles diagnosed with cancer, Buckingham Palace says

King Charles III, 75, has been diagnosed with cancer and will be avoiding public events after being advised by his doctors to minimize in-person contacts, Buckingham Palace announced Monday.

The announcement marks a striking departure from the past, when monarch’s ailments were often hidden from the public, according to royal experts.

During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted,” the palace said in an emailed statement. “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.”

The statement also did not specify what stage the cancer was found.

Separately, Buckingham Palace said Charles did not have prostate cancer.

The news comes a week after both Kate and King Charles were discharged from a private London clinic after medical procedures. The king underwent a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate, while Kate, 42, had unspecified abdominal surgery on Jan. 17.

“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 statement added.

According to the statement, the king wanted to share his diagnosis in part to avoid speculation on his condition but also “in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.” 

Before becoming king, Charles served as patron to a number of cancer-related charities, and “in this capacity, His Majesty has often spoken publicly in support of cancer patients, their loved ones and the wonderful health professionals who help care for them,” according to Buckingham Palace.

No further details are being shared about his treatment or prognosis, a palace spokesperson said, but the king returned to London on Monday to begin out-patient care.

Sarah Gristwood, royal biographer and historian, said it was “striking” that the diagnosis was announced at all given the royal family’s history of trying to “keep any sign of ordinary human fallibility behind closed doors.”

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