King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer, and one royal watcher says his health bombshell leaves the public with more questions than answers.
The 75-year-old has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday. The palace didn’t say what form of cancer the British monarch has but noted it’s not related to his recent treatment for a benign prostate condition.
“Once again, the palace is not being entirely forthcoming, and that’s unfortunate since the ultimate result is usually wild speculation,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital.
KING CHARLES DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER, BUCKINGHAM PALACE SAYS
“Forget parceling information out in dribs and drabs, just rip off the Band-Aid and get it over with,” he said. “If anyone is a public figure it is the king of England. As they say, the public has the right to know.”
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,” the palace said in a statement.
The news comes on the heels of his daughter-in-law, Princess Kate Middleton, recovering from planned abdominal surgery for an undisclosed condition. The king and the Princess of Wales were both treated at the same hospital.
The mother of three had been at The London Clinic for two weeks. The palace said she returned home to recuperate, though the 42-year-old wasn’t seen leaving the hospital. Details about when she left weren’t released. Charles was photographed walking outside the clinic with his wife, Queen Camilla, after he was discharged from his procedure.
The Princess of Wales is expected to resume royal duties after Easter in late March.
“We are already wondering what Kate’s medical problems are – they do appear to be serious – so why compound the royal mysteries?” Andersen said.
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“We know that Charles is not suffering from prostate cancer but from some form of cancer that was detected during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate,” he said. “What type of cancer is the king dealing with? What, precisely, is the course of treatment? How far along has the cancer progressed and what is the prognosis? Charles III is the U.K.’s head of state as well as the commonwealth, which encompasses virtually one-third of the world’s population.”
“There is a huge element of irony here,” Andersen continued. “After waiting a lifetime to succeed his mother the monarch, Charles is stricken with cancer just 10 months after his coronation. Once again, just how serious the situation is, we don’t know. But we should.”
According to the palace, as the king takes on a schedule of regular treatments, his doctors have advised him to postpone public duties.
“Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual,” the statement reads. “The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”
“His Majesty 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,” the statement added.
The U.K. and foreign media have been focused on the health of Britain’s senior royals in recent years, first as the late queen faded from public view during the last months of her 70-year reign, then when Charles ascended the throne at an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired.
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Kinsey Schofield, host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, told Fox News Digital that the king’s diagnosis has sent shock waves to not only royal watchers but the public.
“The king has lived a life of intention from what he puts in his mouth to regular movement of the body,” Schofield said. “He has studied the benefits of … farm to fork. He has always been so curious and used the information he discovered to improve himself and those around him. He has been disciplined in his healthy lifestyle. It goes to show you what a true monster cancer can be.”
Still, Schofield said that she’s “surprised” by the “amount of transparency” the palace has provided so far, pointing out that they could have kept the king’s diagnosis a secret.
“It is a sad day and a fascinating day,” she added.
British royals expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that “the health of monarchs has been concealed for centuries,” making the palace’s announcement an “extraordinary one.”
“The announcement demonstrates His Majesty’s commitment to a modern monarchy with transparency and impact like no reign before him,” she said. “Unfortunately, His Majesty did not take the throne until he was in his 70s. But his transparency with his health struggles is an important step for the institution.”
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British broadcaster and commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital that while we don’t know the exact cancer that the doctors discovered, the news gives him hope that the king will have a speedy recovery.
“Often it is early diagnosis of some cancers which can make the treatment more effective,” said Sacerdoti. “We can only hope that this is the case for the king. He is due to receive treatment as an outpatient but isn’t expected to carry on with his public duties.”
“As far as we know, he was otherwise in relatively good health for his age and lived an active life,” he said. “Hopefully his medical treatment will allow him to recover. He has been well received as our monarch in the short time since his mother died and the nation will be sending positive wishes and thoughts to him and the entire royal family.”
British royals expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital that the king returned to London from Sandringham, where he was over the weekend with Camilla, for his treatment. On Sunday, the king appeared in good spirits as he waved to well-wishers while heading to church.
“His dashing over adds a sense of urgency to the situation,” she said. “Albeit, nothing has been issued to the effect of this being anything imminently life-threatening.”
It is understood that Charles personally told his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, about the diagnosis. He also informed his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, before the news was made public.
A source confirmed to Fox News Digital that Harry, who lives in California, “[W]ill be traveling to the U.K. to see His Majesty” in the coming days.
The king will continue to receive “red boxes,” or the monarchy’s daily delivery of documents that need his attention, People magazine reported. The outlet also reported that he will continue to process state documents during his treatment. According to the outlet, there are currently no plans to appoint counsellors of state to act on the king’s behalf.
The king ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. England’s longest-reigning monarch died in 2022. She was 96.
Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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