King Charles looking concerned

Inside King Charles III’s difficult start to 2024 – from cancer diagnosis to Princess of Wales’ health news

King Charles was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year

King Charles III – who is the subject of a new documentary tonight (Sunday, March 31) – has had a difficult start to 2024.

From his own cancer diagnosis to learning that daughter-in-law Kate is also battling cancer, here’s everything the monarch has had to deal with this year so far.

King Charles smiling next to a car
King Charles had an operation earlier this year (Credit:

Difficult start to 2024 for King Charles III – prostate operation

Back in January, it was announced that the King, 75, would be undergoing an operation for an enlarged prostate.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in a statement.

“In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate,” they said.

“His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”

King Charles smiling
Charles was diagnosed with cancer recently (Credit:

King Charles’ III cancer diagnosis

Not long after his operation, it was announced that the King had been diagnosed with a form of cancer.

Buckingham Palace again confirmed the news in a statement – however, they didn’t reveal the form of cancer.

“During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” they said.

They then went on to say that the monarch has been advised to step back from “public-facing” duties. However, he will continue with paperwork and state business as usual.

The statement went on to say that the King was “wholly positive” about his prognosis.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” they then said.

Prince Harry speaking in a mic
Prince Harry came back to the UK recently (Credit:

45-minute meeting with Prince Harry

Following the news of his cancer diagnosis, Prince Harry jetted across the pond to meet with his father.

However, despite spending hours travelling back to the UK, the Duke of Sussex only had a 45-minute meeting with his father.

However, any hopes of mending the ongoing feud with his brother, William, suffered a blow amid claims he didn’t meet the Prince of Wales during his flying visit.

‘I’ve never seen him look this unwell’

The monarch sparked concern from royal fans earlier this month in a video he filmed to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

The video saw the King sitting at a desk, wearing a dark blue suit.

“Having recently celebrated my own 75 birthday, it warms my heart to reflect on the way the Commonwealth has been a constant throughout my own life – a precious source of strength, inspiration, and pride,” the King says in the video.

“In recent weeks, I have been most deeply touched by your wonderfully kind and thoughtful good wishes for my health and, in return, can only continue to serve you, to the best of my ability, throughout the Commonwealth.”

However, fans were concerned about his appearance in the video.

“Oh my word I’ve never seen him look this unwell,” one fan tweeted. “He looks so unwell,” another said at the time.

Camilla smiling and holding flowers
Camilla has stepped up (Credit:

Camilla taking charge

Following his cancer diagnosis, his wife, Queen Camilla, has been stepping up in her husband’s absence.

Camilla led the Royal Family at the Commonwealth Day service and was the most senior royal at King Constantine of Greece’s memorial service.

She is reportedly slated to represent the family at the Chelsea Flower Show in May. She is also set to appear at the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations and perform duties at Garter Day, Royal Ascot, and Trooping the Colour.

King Charles and Camilla in a carriage
Charles may have to ride in a carriage for Trooping the Colour (Credit:

King Charles III Trooping of the Colour involvement in doubt

Trooping the Colour is in June, however, how much the King is going to be involved is currently in doubt.

It has been reported that the monarch may not be able to ride his horse amid his ongoing cancer treatment. The King riding on the back of his horse during the celebrations is a central part of the event.

However, due to his ongoing health issues, changes may need to be made.

Royal aides “are already exploring ways that Charles might be able to take part within the constraints of his ongoing cancer treatment” it has been claimed.

According to reports, this may mean viewing matters from a podium, or even travelling in a carriage from the Mall to Buckingham Palace, like the Queen did from 1987 onwards.

Kate Middleton on a bench talking to camera
Kate has cancer (Credit: BBC)

Princess Kate’s cancer diagnosis

The King’s difficult start to 2024 continued last week, when it was announced that Princess Kate had been diagnosed with cancer.

Kate was in hospital for abdominal surgery at the same time as Charles was in for his prostate operation.

Last week, in an emotional video, the Princess of Wales revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer. She confirmed she is currently undergoing treatment.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment,” she said in the video.

“This of course came as a huge shock. And William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

Read more: Hope Prince Harry ‘will reunite with William and Kate during her cancer treatment dashed’ amid big clue

Charles III: The Coronation Year airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday (March 31) at 4pm.

‘Highly unusual’: Princess Kate and the King met hours before cancer diagnosis reveal

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer

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