The King has recently decided to step back from his public duties as he begins treatment for a newly diagnosed form of cancer, according to Buckingham Palace. The diagnosis came to light during the monarch’s hospital treatment for an enlarged prostate, a condition unrelated to prostate cancer.
Although the specific type of cancer hasn’t been disclosed by the palace, it has been clarified that it is different from prostate cancer. A “separate issue of concern” was flagged during a recent benign prostate enlargement procedure, leading to further tests that confirmed the presence of cancer. The exact nature of the diagnostic tests remains undisclosed.
Having returned to London from Sandringham for outpatient treatment, the King’s healthcare details, whether through the NHS or private means, remain uncertain. The treatment plan involves regular sessions, managed by a specialist medical team exploring options such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or targeted drugs.
Despite undergoing treatment, the King will continue certain state duties, such as processing state documents and holding weekly audiences with the prime minister. However, some public engagements will be rescheduled or postponed as advised by medical professionals.
The King’s role in upcoming general elections is of significant interest, given Rishi Sunak’s hints at polls later in the year. Traditionally responsible for dissolving Parliament before elections, adjustments may be made to the King’s involvement considering the circumstances.
To share the workload, the Royal Family is expected to take on some of the King’s duties, with Prince William potentially assuming additional responsibilities. Currently assisting the Princess of Wales in her recovery, Prince William could take on more duties upon his return to full public service.
The King personally informed his siblings and children about his cancer diagnosis, and Prince Harry has confirmed his imminent return to the UK in the coming days. Throughout this period, the Queen will maintain her full schedule of public duties.