King Charles talks about his health as he holds hands with cancer patients on return to public duties

King Charles talks about his health as he holds hands with cancer patients on return to public duties

The King has said he is feeling “much better” as he returned to public duties for the first time since his cancer diagnosis.

On his visit with the Queen to a Macmillan Cancer Centre in London, the King held hands with cancer patients.

He was also announced as patron of Cancer Research UK, and takes over the role from his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.

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

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

Pic: PA

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.

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.

King Charles meets with patients during a visit to the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre.
Pic: Reuters
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

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.

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

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

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

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

Ahead of Tuesday’s visit, 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.