What King Charles' cancer diagnosis means for the rest of the royal family

Photo / The Royal Family Twitter

Photo / The Royal Family Twitter

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Tuesday morning that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. 

The statement released by the Palace revealed that while the 75 year old monarch was receiving treatment for benign prostate enlargement, a “separate issue of concern” was noted and “subsequent diagnostic tests identified a form of 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. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.” 

Details about the type of cancer Charles has been diagnosed with have not been released, however, the Daily Mail has reported it is not prostate cancer. 

Now, as the King’s cancer battle commences, multiple news outlets including the Daily Telegraph have reported that both Queen Camilla and William, Prince of Wales, will be stepping in to fill any gaps Charles’ schedule may have as a result of his treatment. 

The news outlet’s associate editor Camilla Tominey said: “The truth of the matter, however, is that while the Queen is doubtlessly preparing to play a supporting role, and will continue to carry out a full schedule of public duties, the pressure now lies on the Prince of Wales to step up”. 

A difficult task considering the Prince is currently taking on a larger role in his own household and with his three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, as Kate, Princess of Wales, 42, is recovering from “planned abdominal surgery” which will see her sit out of all official duties until at least Easter. 

It’s understood the King will still hold regular audiences with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, preside over Privy Council meetings and complete official paperwork. He will step back from many official engagements, and the Daily Telegraph reports: “If he does not feel up to it – it will be for William, as the King’s ‘liege man of life and limb’ to deputise, rather than his stepmother, the Queen”. 

While the King remains “wholly positive” about his treatment plan, eyes have turned to the line of succession. The Herald looks at it below. 

The order of succession to the British throne:

1. Prince William, the eldest son of Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. He is known as Prince of Wales and is married to Kate, Princess of Wales. Their three children follow him in the line of succession.

2. Prince George of Cambridge, born in July 2013.

3. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, born in May 2015.

4. Prince Louis of Cambridge, born in April 2018.

5. Prince Harry, the younger son of Charles and Diana, who has relinquished his royal duties but retains his place in line.

6. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, born to Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in May 2019.

7. Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, born to Harry and Meghan in June 2021.

8. Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s second-eldest son.

9. Princess Beatrice, elder daughter of Andrew and his former wife, Sarah Ferguson.

10. Sienna Elizabeth, daughter of Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, born in September 2021.

11. Princess Eugenie, Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s younger daughter.

12. August Brooksbank, born to Eugenie and James Brooksbank in February 2021.

13. Ernest Brooksbank, born to Eugenie and James Brooksbank in May 2023.

14. Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s youngest child.

15. James, Viscount Severn, son of Edward and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

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