What we know and don't know about the King's cancer diagnosis

King Charles revealed his cancer diagnosis in February - here is everything we know so far.

Watch: King attends Easter Sunday service but Prince and Princess of Wales absent

King Charles is reportedly "raring to go" following a "positive" start to his cancer treatment.

In March, the Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese said he was preparing for a possible visit from His Majesty The King to Australia "later this year".

The King and Queen had been expected to visit Australia, New Zealand and Samoa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October. Buckingham Palace has not confirmed the trip, but would not normally do so until closer to the time.

According to the Sun, a palace source said Charles is "over the moon" with the "positive" way his cancer treatment has begun and is stepping up plans for the trip to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa. It says he is "raring to go" after two months in which he has been largely absent from the public eye following his diagnosis.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: King Charles III and Queen Camilla attend the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle on March 31, 2024 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
King Charles and Queen Camilla outside the service. (Getty)

What we know

On 6 February, Buckingham Palace announced that the King had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that had been discovered during treatment Charles had for an enlarged prostate at the London Clinic.

The palace said Charles had begun "regular treatments" and would postpone his public duties, adding that the King "remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible".

Charles informed his two sons, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, personally, and Harry flew in from his home in the US to visit his father in the days that followed.

Watch: Queen says Charles is doing very well as she completes Northern Ireland visit

Although Charles put his public events on hold, he has continued his constitutional role as head of state, which includes paperwork and private meetings.

The palace said Charles had chosen to go public about his cancer treatment because he was a patron of a number of cancer-related charities during his time as the Prince of Wales.

Less than two months after his announcement, Kate revealed that she too had been diagnosed with cancer, following weeks of speculation and conspiracy theories after she underwent abdominal surgery at the same hospital where Charles was treated.

In an emotional video message last Friday, the 42-year-old princess said she is undergoing a course of preventative chemotherapy.

The Princess of Wales and King Charles have both announced they have been diagnosed with cancer. (PA)
The Princess of Wales and King Charles have both announced they have been diagnosed with cancer. (PA)

Buckingham Palace has previously said that the King hailed Kate for speaking out about her cancer diagnosis, saying: “His Majesty is ‘so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did’. Following their time in hospital together, His Majesty has ‘remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks’.

King Charles reads cards and messages from well-wishers on 21 February following his cancer diagnosis. (PA)
King Charles reads cards and messages from well-wishers on 21 February following his cancer diagnosis. (PA)

“Both Their Majesties ‘will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time’.”

On 24 March, the King's nephew, Peter Phillips, the son of the Princess Royal, said his uncle was "frustrated" that his recovery is taking longer than “he would want it to”. In a televised interview, Phillips told Sky News Australia: “I think ultimately he’s hugely frustrated. He’s frustrated that he can’t get on and do everything that he wants to be able to do.

On 31 March, Charles made his most high-profile public appearance since his diagnosis at an Easter Sunday church service.

Charles, 75, waved to well-wishers after he and Queen Camilla arrived by car at the annual Easter Mattins Service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The King and Queen were seated separately from the rest of the congregation inside the church to ensure Charles’s health.

It followed the broadcast of a pre-recorded Easter broadcast on 28 March at a Royal Maundy service in Worcester Cathedral, in which the King stressed the importance of acts of friendship “especially in a time of need” - his first public words since the Princess of Wales revealed she was undergoing chemotherapy.

What we don't know

As with Kate, the type of cancer the King is suffering from has not been revealed, although Buckingham Palace said Charles does not have prostate cancer.

When the King was initially admitted for treatment on an enlarged prostate – prior to the news he had cancer – it was understood he wanted to share news of his health update to encourage others to get themselves checked out. However, the palace has not revealed at what stage the cancer is, how ill the king is nor what type of treatment he is receiving.

It is also clear the diagnosis has impacted the king's ability to carry out some of his public duties, but - unlike Kate - the palace has not given a timeline of when he might be able to increase his workload.

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