King’s treatment a private matter – but his openness will bring focus to some vital work | Alastair Bruce


The King has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has started treatment, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The diagnosis comes after he underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate, but the palace said he does not have prostate cancer.

Prince Harry to travel to UK to see King – live updates

Here’s what our royal commentator Alastair Bruce said about the King and his diagnosis:

“I think everybody knows the impact of the word cancer in any life, or to any friend, or to somebody who we know, and most people know the King as the head of state, and so it does give it something of a focus.

“I think for the King though, he has come to this as a very fit 75-year-old, and he has always been very energetic and determined.

“We saw him at church in Sandringham only yesterday, I think that having come today we hear to start this procedure we know he does so with enormous enthusiasm.”

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King’s openness will support those suffering

“His reign has begun with an incalculable number of engagements and activities, and he has thrown himself into the task of kingship.

“And yet the nation is very used to, in the late Queen Elizabeth II, having a monarch who was as it were in some state of health decline, and all the work that is required to be done by the head of state carries on.

“But the King having announced now that he has cancer, which is something that almost every family in the world is aware of, and this bringing it to light is perhaps some of the work that the King hadn’t necessarily planned to do with his reign.

“And yet I think the impact of this announcement, and the fact that it is being shared so clearly with so many people, is part of what you may be able to do to support the nation and all the people who are suffering with this disease.”

Read more:
Buckingham Palace statement in full
Prince Harry to travel to UK to see King ‘in coming days’

PM wishes King ‘full and speedy recovery’ after cancer diagnosis

The King will not partake in public engagements during his treatment. Pic: PA

And cancer charities could be helped too

“(Buckingham Palace is) going to be quite cautious about how much they say, and yet very much with all these stories, people are going to want to try and understand more about what kind of cancer it is and what kind of treatment the King is undergoing.

“I think the palace will hold that very close. It is a private matter for the King.

“What we will recognise now is that a huge amount of interest will focus on that disease, and that charities that do so much to try and alleviate the impact of cancer on families, will I hope benefit from the fact that the United Kingdom and the other realms and the Commonwealth will keep a pretty clear eye on the King.

“[He] was supposed this year to launch on an enormous number of visits to different parts of the world and much else – and we’ll see how this diagnosis and the treatment for it impacts on what I think for the King will be a great disappointment.”

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