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King’s cancer diagnosis: The royal family’s recent health scares

The King has been diagnosed with cancer, with the condition discovered during his recent hospital treatment.

The shock health news follows his treatment for an enlarged prostate, but Buckingham Palace has confirmed Charles does not have prostate cancer, but another cancer instead.

The Princess of Wales is still recovering from abdominal surgery and Sarah, Duchess of York is dealing with skin cancer.

Here is the timeline of the health troubles facing the royal family.

– Tuesday January 16

Kate, 42, is secretly admitted to the London Clinic and undergoes abdominal surgery.

– Wednesday January 17

2pm – Kensington Palace announces the princess’ operation and says she will remain in the private hospital for 10-14 days.

She is not expected to return to duties until after Easter, taking up to three months to recover.

Royal visit to Sebby’s Corner
The Princess of Wales during a visit to Sebby’s Corner in Barnet, north London in November (Frank Augstein/PA)

The Prince of Wales steps back from his official duties temporarily to care of his wife and children.

The exact nature of Kate’s condition is kept private, but it is not cancerous and Kensington Palace says the planned procedure was successful.

3.25pm – Buckingham Palace announces the King, 75, is to have treatment for a benign enlarged prostate and will be admitted to hospital in a few days.

Royals attend church service
The King at a Sunday church service in Sandringham in early January (Joe Giddens/PA)

A source later says the princess is “doing well”.

– Thursday January 18

The Prince of Wales spends time at his wife’s bedside, driving himself away from the back entrance during the low-key, private visit.

The Queen says the King is “fine” and “looking forward to getting back to work” during a visit to the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Royal visit to Aberdeen Art Gallery
The Queen has carried on with her engagements (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Friday January 19

The King flies back from Scotland with the Queen and heads to his Sandringham estate in Norfolk to rest ahead of the procedure.

– Sunday January 21

It is announced that the King’s former sister-in-law, Sarah, Duchess of York, has malignant melanoma, a form skin cancer.

It is less than a year since the duchess, 64, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Royals attends Christmas Day Church service
Sarah, Duchess of York, attended the Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham (Joe Giddens/PA)

– Monday January 22

The Queen tells 86-year-old well-wisher Jessie Jackson that the King is “fine”, and thanks her for asking, while she carries out engagements in Swindon.

Sarah, Duchess of York, meanwhile, describes her shock at having skin cancer but says she is in “good spirits” and “grateful for the many messages of love and support”, in a post on Instagram.

Royal visit to Swindon
The Queen receiving get well cards for her husband the King in Swindon (Adrian Dennis/PA)

– Tuesday January 23

Kate’s hospital stay passes the one-week mark.

Camilla urges the King to take it easy.  An insider told The Sun: “The Queen has told him he needs to slow down a bit.”

– Thursday January 25

The King carried out behind the scenes official duties, meeting academics from Cambridge University at Sandringham House.

The King arrives back in London from Norfolk ready for his treatment.

– Friday January 26

The King, with the Queen at his side, is admitted to the London Clinic for treatment for an enlarged prostate and also visits the Princess of Wales, who is recovering in the same hospital.

King Charles hospital visit
Camilla visiting the King in hospital (James Manning/PA)

– Monday January 29

The King is discharged from hospital and waves at well-wishers. Kate leaves the clinic the same day to continue her recovery at home.

– Wednesday January 31

Camilla says the King is “getting on, doing his best” as she opened a Maggie’s cancer support centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
The Queen her visit to London’s Royal Free Hospital to officially open Maggie’s Royal Free, a new cancer support centre (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

– Sunday February 4

The King and Queen attend church in Sandringham, with Charles waving at well-wishers.

– Monday February 5

Kensington Palace confirms the Prince of Wales is returning to official duties this week, beginning with an investiture.

Royals attend church service
The King and Queen arrive to attend a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)

6pm – Buckingham Palace announces the King has a form of cancer – but not prostate cancer – and has started treatment as an outpatient.

He will not carry out public-facing duties, but will carry on with behind the scenes state business and official papers.