King Charles‘ cancer was caught early and the whole country is hoping he can make a full recovery, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday, as messages of support for the 75-year-old monarch poured in from world leaders, according to Reuters.
Buckingham Palace revealed on Monday that Charles, on the throne for less than 18 months since the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, was suffering from a “form of cancer” and would postpone his public engagements to undergo treatment.
Charles’ younger son Prince Harry, estranged from the royal family, is due to arrive in Britain shortly and his elder brother, heir-to-the-throne Prince William, is expected to step up to fulfil some of the monarch’s duties.
Sunak said he had been “shocked and sad” at the news.
“All our thoughts are with him and his family. You know, thankfully, this has been caught early,” he told BBC radio.
Charles is planning to continue with much of his private work as monarch including his weekly audience with the prime minister and dealing with state papers, and Sunak said he was in regular contact with the king.
Charles spent the night at his Clarence House home near Buckingham Palace on Monday after beginning a series of out-patient treatments.
The cancer was discovered when Charles spent three nights in hospital last month where he underwent a corrective procedure for a benign enlarged prostate. Beyond confirming it is not prostate cancer, the palace has not given any further details.
The surprise diagnosis dominated Britain’s newspapers on Tuesday. “Nation’s shock as treatment starts” was one headline in tabloid newspaper The Sun.
The king’s cancer revelation comes as Kate, the Princess of Wales and wife of heir William, also recuperates at home after spending two weeks in hospital following planned abdominal surgery for an unspecified but non-cancerous condition.
She is not expected to return to public duties until after Easter and the absence of the senior figures will put pressure on the other working royals to perform extra engagements.