In normal times the King would personally meet hundreds of people a week, but cancer treatment may leave the monarch with a suppressed immune system and he is to enter a Covid-era-like regime of video conferences instead.
King Charles III started cancer treatment on Monday, Buckingham Palace announced, and the King was later briefly seen in public after a meeting with his son Prince Harry. Smiling and waving to well-wishers, the King was driven in the back of a state car to Buckingham Palace where a helicopter took him to his country retreat where he is now reported to be spending the majority of his time until his cancer treatment is completed.
Cancer treatment can compromise or suppress the human immune system, leaving those undergoing therapy more susceptible to getting infections. For the 75-year-old King, already recovering from treatment for an enlarged prostate performed last week and now beginning cancer treatment, his normal routine of over 400 public engagements a year bringing him into close contact with hundreds of people a week puts him at risk.
Instead, reports the Daily Telegraph citing palace sources, the King will spend most of his time at Sandringham, his country estate, only returning to London for this cancer treatment and official audiences with the Prime Minister, which by convention are weekly. For other meetings, it is stated the King will use “secure telephone line or videolink”.
King Seen in Public For First Time Since Cancer Diagnosis as Prince Harry Returns to UKhttps://t.co/38NVZWv0gR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 6, 2024
The situation is somewhat redolent of the coronavirus lockdown era, where Royals used ‘Zoom’ teleconferencing software in lieu of public meetings.
While Buckingham Palace has been comparatively open about the King’s recent health developments compared to the regime under Queen Elizabeth II when medical issues were not generally commented upon, it remains the case that little is known about the King’s condition. The cancer was detected during tests undertaken while King Charles was in hospital for his non-cancerous enlarged prostate last week, detecting a “separate area of concern”.
What form of cancer the King has was not revealed, and the Palace has only said that it is not of the prostate. The Prime Minister said this week that it had been “caught early”, a key factor in positive outcomes for many cancer types.
As well as the King being away from public duties, Kate the Princess of Wales is also presently unable to work as she is recovering from apparently major abdominal surgery last month. She hasn’t been seen in public for several weeks and is not expected to return to duties until after Easter. Her husband William, the future King, has also been away from Royal duties since she went into hospital to help care for her and their children, but returned to work this morning, helping to cover the engagements left by the King with other Royals, like Princess Anne.
Prince William appeared at Windsor Castle on Wednesday morning at an investiture, the formal occasion at which those given awards and invested into orders of chivalry and merit — such as new knights, for instance — are given their insignia in person by a member of the Royal Family.
Today is #WorldCancerDay – a global initiative aiming to raise awareness about cancer.
Earlier this week, Her Majesty The Queen opened @MaggiesCentres Royal Free, a new cancer support centre at Royal Free Hospital.
Read more: https://t.co/TMs0pYBrIx pic.twitter.com/iYvcc16Ndl
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 4, 2024
Editor’s note 02/07/24 this article was amended to correct the type of surgery the Princess of Wales had last month.
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