King Charles meets cancer patients as he returns to public duties

The King and Queen have visited a cancer treatment centre to meet medical specialists and patients, ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports

King Charles has been named as the new patron of Cancer Research UK as he resumed public-facing events for the first time since his diagnosis.

The 75-year-old monarch - accompanied by Queen Camilla - visited the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre to meet patients and staff on Tuesday.

The King has made his first public appearance since his cancer diagnosis in February. Credit: PA
The royal event aims to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and highlight innovative research taking place at the hospital. Credit: PA

The King sympathised with one cancer patient as she received her chemotherapy with many others in a day unit, telling Lesley Woodbridge, 63: “It’s always a bit of a shock isn’t, when they tell you.”

He added: “I’ve got to have my treatment this afternoon as well.”

Charles has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer since February and on Friday it was announced he would be returning to public-facing duties.

The development indicated the positive progress he is making after almost three months of cancer care as an outpatient.

When quizzed about his health, he told one patient: “I’m alright thank you very much, not too bad.”

The King’s visit aims to raise awareness of the importance of early cancer diagnosis and highlight some of the innovative research, supported by Cancer Research UK, taking place at the hospital.

King Charles has left the London hospital after a visit marking his return to public duties

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on Friday: “His Majesty’s treatment programme will continue, but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far that the King is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties.

“Forthcoming engagements will be adapted where necessary to minimise any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery.”

It is understood the warmer weather would allow events to be staged outside and minimise the risk posed by other people that many cancer patients face.

The spokesperson added: “The pacing of the King’s programme will be carefully calibrated as his recovery continues, in close consultation with his medical team.”

King Charles III and Queen Camilla meet staff members at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre. Credit: PA
The King and Queen met with Lesley Woodbridge, patient receiving the second round of chemotherapy for sarcoma. Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Following the diagnosis in February, the King previously told of how he had been reduced to tears by the messages and cards of support he received from well-wishers.

One cancer charity saw an uptick in visits to it's website - described as the “King Charles effect” as a result of Charles's openness.

Macmillan Cancer Support said its information and support pages saw 48,304 hits on the day the news broke. This represents a 42% increase on the same day last year and is the highest daily figure since at least March 2020.

This is the Royal Rota - our weekly podcast about the royal family, with ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Producer Lizzie Robinson