King Charles diagnosed with cancer

Monarch 'remains wholly positive about his treatment', during which senior royals are expected to stand in for him

King Charles walking
King Charles walking to St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham on Sunday, his first public appearance since leaving hospital
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer and will postpone public duties during his treatment, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The King "remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible," the Palace said in a statement. Rishi Sunak wished the monarch a "full and speedy recovery", as did Labour leader Keir Starmer and heads of state worldwide.

The man "once known as the longest-serving heir to the throne" has now been forced to contemplate "not what he can do" with his reign, said The Telegraph, "but what he can manage". The Palace has given "no indication" that the King intends to step down, said The Independent. Rather, senior royals "are expected to stand in for him" while he recuperates.

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Insiders reportedly said that the diagnosis came as a shock, but the disease is "understood to have been caught at an early stage", said The Times. Palace staff are "keen to remind people" that the "mood remains genuinely ­positive", the paper added. 

Despite stepping back from public events, the King will "continue with paperwork and private meetings as head of state", the BBC said.

Nevertheless, said The Guardian, the diagnosis will "cast doubt" on the monarch's "future role". The King’s illness "comes just as he was making a mark and as his popularity was growing", the paper added.

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