ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer, starting treatment — palace

Britain’s monarch ‘remains wholly positive’, ‘looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible’; Prince Harry reportedly traveling from US to visit his father

Britain's King Charles III (L) waves as he leaves the London Clinic with Queen Camilla, London, January 29, 2024. (Daniel LEAL / AFP)
Britain's King Charles III (L) waves as he leaves the London Clinic with Queen Camilla, London, January 29, 2024. (Daniel LEAL / AFP)

LONDON — King Charles III has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace said on Monday, just a week after he was discharged from hospital for prostate surgery.

Following the announcement, the 75-year-old Charles’s estranged son Prince Harry immediately made it known that he had spoken with the king about his diagnosis.

His younger son, who now lives in California with his wife Meghan, said he would travel to see his father in the UK over the coming days, a source close to Harry was quoted as saying by the Press Association news agency.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined a worldwide chorus wishing the king well, in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Sara and I send our heartfelt well wishes to King Charles III and our prayers for his good health,” he wrote on Monday, referring to his wife.

Charles, who became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022, has generally enjoyed good health, barring injuries from polo and skiing.

But the palace said that during his recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement “a separate issue of concern was noted.”

“Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” the palace said in a statement, adding that he had begun treatment.

Britain’s King Charles III departs Westminster Abbey after his coronation ceremony in London, May 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The palace said the king “remains wholly positive” and “looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, he had been advised by doctors to postpone public duties although he would continue to “undertake state business and official paperwork as usual,” it said.

The king won plaudits for being open about his benign prostate condition, with doctors saying many more members of the public had come forward with symptoms.

The palace added that Charles had chosen to share his cancer diagnosis “to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

The diagnosis will prolong a frontline shortage of royals created by Charles’s prostate procedure and the almost simultaneous hospitalization of Catherine, Princess of Wales.

Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales and Britain’s Prince George of Wales (L) walk past Britain’s King Charles III (R) as they leave, after attending the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate in eastern England, on December 25, 2023. (Adrian DENNIS / AFP / File)

Catherine, 42, who is the wife of Charles’s son and heir to the throne Prince William, underwent abdominal surgery at the same hospital that Charles was treated in.

She left last Monday on the same day as Charles, following a stay of around of two weeks and may not return to public duties until late March.

Her husband William, 41, also stepped back temporarily from planned engagements to help care for their three children.

The pair’s absence left Queen Camilla, Charles’s 76-year-old wife, as the most visible face of the royal family.

William is expected to return to royal duties this week.

At the time of Catherine’s operation, Kensington Palace stressed that her condition was not linked to cancer, without elaborating.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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