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UK’s king to resume public duties after cancer diagnosis

Britain’s King Charles is said to be “greatly encouraged” at returning to public-facing royal duties following the positive effect of his cancer treatment.

The 75-year-old has been receiving care as an outpatient since early February.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “His Majesty is greatly encouraged to be resuming some public-facing duties and very grateful to his medical team for their continued care and expertise.”

Sources have stressed that despite the welcome news King Charles still has cancer and will continue to be treated for the undisclosed form of the disease.

The palace spokesperson said “His Majesty’s medical team are very encouraged by the progress made so far and remain positive about the King’s continued recovery.”

To mark the development, King Charles and Queen Camilla will visit a cancer treatment centre on Tuesday to meet medical specialists and patients.

The event aims to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and highlight innovative research, supported by Cancer Research UK, taking place at the hospital.

The Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “His Majesty’s treatment programme will continue, but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far that the King is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties.

“Forthcoming engagements will be adapted where necessary to minimise any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery.”

King Charles’s diary of events will not be a full summer programme, and attendance will be announced nearer the time and “subject to doctors’ advice”, with “adaptations made where necessary to minimise risk” to his recovery.

It is understood the warmer weather would allow events to be staged outside and lessen the risk posed by other people that many cancer patients face.

The spokesperson added: “The pacing of the King’s programme will be carefully calibrated as his recovery continues, in close consultation with his medical team.”

A picture marking the first anniversary of the crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla on 6 May has been released, taken in the gardens of Buckingham Palace the day after their 19th wedding anniversary on 10 April.

King Charles and Queen Camilla leaving a London clinic in January

The palace said in a statement: “His Majesty The King will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis.

“To help mark this milestone, the King and Queen will make a joint visit to a cancer treatment centre next Tuesday, where they will meet medical specialists and patients.

“This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead.

“In addition, The King and Queen will host Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan for a state visit in June, at the request of HM Government.

“As the first anniversary of the coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded to the news on social media saying: “Brilliant news to end the week!”

In January, King Charles spent three nights in hospital for a procedure on an enlarged prostate, during which time his cancer – not prostate cancer – was discovered.

After his diagnosis was announced on 6 February, the monarch postponed all public-facing engagement but continued with his duties as head of state, conducting audiences and Privy Council meetings.

The summer months are a busy period for the royal family when colourful set-pieces events such as Trooping the Colour, Garter Day and Royal Ascot are held, with the prospect towards the end of the year of overseas travel as Samoa is hosting the biennial meeting of Commonwealth leaders.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said planning continues into ways in which King Charles and his wife may attend events in the summer and autumn.

But they said that “nothing can be confirmed or guaranteed” and all plans remain subject to medical advice nearer the time.

King Charles’s absence has coincided with news that his daughter-in-law Kate, wife of his son and heir Prince William, is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after tests in the wake of abdominal surgery revealed cancer had been present.

The Princess of Wales will return to public duties once her medical team say she is well enough to do so.

King Charles’s health scare came less than 18 months into his reign after he succeeded his mother, Queen Elizabeth, and less than a year since his coronation.

Additional reporting Reuters

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