Cancer Be Damned, King Charles Is Back On Duty

King Charles III looked cheerful and happy Tuesday, as he carried out his first official public engagement since being diagnosed with cancer.

He was accompanied by his wife, Queen Camilla, as he visited a cancer treatment center in London, England.

The royal couple arrived at University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre shortly after 11 a.m. in the state Bentley, a ceremonial vehicle fitted with extra large windows that Charles has been using while traveling in London on state and personal business in recent months to make sure he can be easily seen and photographed.

King Charles and Queen Camilla at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in London, Britain, April 30, 2024

Hollie Adams/Reuters

It was also announced Tuesday that Charles is to take on a new role as the patron of charity Cancer Research UK.

The king was previously last seen in public on Easter Day when he shook hands with 56 well-wishers gathered outside the Windsor church he was attending.

The palace has said he is responding well to treatment, but have made it clear he is not in remission or cancer-free. His appearance Tuesday was intended to telegraph a message that he intends to, if not immediately beat his cancer, at least return to public life while he fights it.

A source told the Telegraph: “Though every patient is different, one of the things they hope to demonstrate and witness is how people can go on living a full life during treatment, not just after it.

“Cancer can be a scary word, but it doesn’t have to be a scary experience.”

Charles’ office said last week that he is responding well to his treatment for what remains an unspecified form of cancer, and said he will carry out “a number of external engagements… in the weeks ahead.”

Charles’ cancer was discovered after he had a procedure on a benign enlarged prostate.

In an extraordinary coincidence, Princess Kate was an inpatient in the same private London hospital that Charles attended, recovering from abdominal surgery which was not at the time thought to be cancerous, although cancer was subsequently diagnosed.

King Charles

King Charles at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in London, April 30, 2024.

Hollie Adams/Reuters

On Feb. 5, Buckingham Palace announced cancer had been found while the procedure was taking place. The palace did not specify what type of cancer Charles had, but did say it was not prostate cancer and that he would start treatment immediately.

The palace said at the time that the king would, on doctors’ orders, avoid large crowds while the treatment was ongoing. The king has continued to undertake state business and attend to official paperwork, and he has made video appearances since the diagnosis, and been photographed being driven through London.

He has sometimes appeared gaunt and weary, and The Daily Beast has been told that he is more unwell than the palace is suggesting.

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