King Charles III Shares Tearful Reaction to Supporters Amid Cancer Battle

While meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, King Charles III expressed how the messages and cards he's received has "reduced me to tears most of the time."

By Elyse Dupre Feb 21, 2024 8:53 PMTags
Watch: Prince Harry Breaks Silence on King Charles III’s Cancer Diagnosis

King Charles III is wearing his heart on his sleeve.

The monarch shared his response to seeing the outpouring of well-wishes from the public amid his battle with cancer

"I've had so many wonderful messages and cards," Charles told U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during their meeting on Feb. 21, as seen in a video shared by Sky News. And he noted this show of support has "reduced me to tears most of the time."

Adding to the words of encouragement, Sunak reminded the king, "We're all behind you, the country's behind you." 

The pair also highlighted how Charles making his diagnosis public has helped raise awareness for cancer-related organizations.

"I hear there's been a lot more attention and interest on those main, wonderful cancer charities," His Majesty shared , "many of which I've been patron for years." 

But amid the heartfelt conversation, they also shared a moment of levity. When Sunak expressed that it was wonderful to see the king "looking so well," Charles jokingly replied, "it's all done with mirrors."

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King Charles III's Road to the Throne

While the king typically holds a weekly audience with the prime minister, this marked the first in-person meeting they've had since Charles' cancer diagnosis was announced on Feb. 5.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace explained the 75-year-old had been undergoing a procedure for a benign prostate enlargement at the hospital in late January when a "separate issue of concern was noted" that was confirmed through testing to be cancer.

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Days later, Charles publicly addressed his diagnosis for the first times and thanked everyone for their kind words.

"I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days," he wrote in part of a Feb. 10 statement. "As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement."

And he isn't the only one who's been moved by the support as his son Prince William, whose wife Kate Middleton underwent abdominal surgery last month, has expressed how much the well-wishes mean to the royal family.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you also for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days," the Prince of Wales said at London's Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner on Feb. 7. "It means a great deal to us all."

As for Charles' son Prince Harry, he made a visit to London from California in the wake of Charles' diagnosis.

"I love my family," the Duke of Sussex recently told Good Morning America. "The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I'm grateful for that."

For a recap of more royal news from this year, keep reading. 

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of King Charles III, making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition.

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana's niece celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post. "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton, was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

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