King Charles holds hands with cancer patients as he returns to public duties after own diagnosis

King Charles holds hands with cancer patients as he returns to public duties after own diagnosis

The King has held hands with cancer patients as he returned to public duties for the first time since his own diagnosis.

He was also announced as patron of Cancer Research UK as he and the Queen visited a Macmillan Cancer Centre in London.

He takes over the role from his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.

It was his first public outing since doctors told him to avoid public-facing duties while having cancer treatment.

The King was pictured holding hands as he met patients and families at the London-based centre, part of University College Hospital.

The royals also gave presents to children on their way out – and received some flowers in return.

The King, who’s also patron of Macmillan Cancer Support, replied “much better, thanks” when Sky News asked how he was feeling.

On Friday, the Palace said he was “greatly encouraged” to be given the green light to return to some public-facing duties.

However, sources stressed the King still has cancer and will continue to be treated for an undisclosed form of the disease.

The King holds hands with a cancer patient Pic: Reuters

King Charles and Queen Camilla meet with patients during a visit to the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre..
Pic: Reuters
Pic: Reuters

It is hoped his visit will draw attention to the importance of early diagnosis, as well as innovative treatments and research at the hospital supported by Cancer Research UK.

The King also met the team behind a project called TRACERx, the single biggest investment in lung cancer research by Cancer Research UK.

It aims to investigate how lung cancer evolves and why treatments sometimes stop working.

King Charles III, patron of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, and Queen Camilla, leave following a visit to University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre, London, to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and highlight some of the innovative research which is taking place at the centre. Picture date: Tuesday April 30, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL King. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Pic: PA

King Charles and Queen Camilla hand presents to children as they leave.
The King and Queen gave presents to children – and got some flowers in return

The King announced he had cancer at the beginning of February.

Since then, charities have praised his openness and the impact it’s had on raising awareness, along with the Princess of Wales talking about her own diagnosis.

Ahead of the visit today, a 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.”

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

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The King has continued constitutional work behind the scenes and has held small meetings inside the palace, including with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

At Easter, he made a point of greeting crowds at St George’s Chapel in Windsor – seen as a hint that more public-facing engagements could soon follow.

Palace officials continue to plan for a busy summer and autumn but will work around the caveat that plans might need to change depending on the King’s health and doctors’ advice.

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The summer months are always a busy period for the Royal Family with events such as Trooping the Colour, Garter Day, and Royal Ascot.

There is also the prospect of overseas travel towards the end of the year, as Samoa is hosting the biennial meeting of Commonwealth leaders.