King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer, will halt public duties as he undergoes treatment

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LONDON, Feb 6, (AP): Britain’s King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace said Monday. Less than 18 months into his reign, the 75-year-old monarch will suspend public engagements but will continue with state business, and won’t be handing over his constitutional roles as head of state.

The palace didn’t disclose what form of cancer the king has, but said it’s not related to his recent treatment for a benign prostate condition.

The palace said “a separate issue of concern was noted” during Charles’ treatment for an enlarged prostate last month, when he spent three nights in a London hospital.

“Diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” it said in a statement.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” the palace said. “Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”

The king is being treated as an outpatient, the palace said.

It said Charles, who has generally enjoyed good health, “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

The palace added that the king “has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

Charles became king in September 2022 when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.

News of the king’s diagnosis comes as his daughter-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales, recovers from abdominal surgery that saw her hospitalized for about two weeks.

Kate is still taking a break from royal duties as she recovers. Her husband, Prince William, who is heir to the throne, also took time off to help look after the couple’s three children, but is due to preside over an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and a charity dinner on Wednesday.

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