Advertisement

King 'on good form' as he is seen for first time since cancer diagnosis after meeting Prince Harry

King 'on good form' as he is seen for first time since cancer diagnosis after meeting Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex visited his father in London on Tuesday as the royal family rallied round the King following his cancer diagnosis.

Prince Harry landed at Heathrow airport at lunchtime after boarding a flight from Los Angeles after learning of his father's shock news.

He travelled in a convoy of SUVs to central London, under a police escort, to meet his father, who he saw for around 45 minutes at Clarence House.

The prince flew from his home in California without his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who has stayed in the US with the couple’s two children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two.

Charles and Harry spent time together before the King was pictured leaving the property with Queen Camilla in a car as they made their way to Sandringham.

It was the first time the King has been seen in public since the announcement of his cancer diagnosis.

He and the Queen smiled and waved from the car to well-wishers as the pair headed to Buckingham Palace where they left in a helicopter to take them back to the Norfolk estate.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The King is on his “usual good form in every way” after his first treatment, a royal source told the Telegraph on Tuesday, adding he is "just a little frustrated that his condition has affected not just his own plans but impacted on others.”It is not known how long Harry will stay in Britain, but it has emerged he and his brother William have no plans to meet.

Royal sources have said Prince William is focused on looking after his wife, the Princess of Wales, who is recovering from abdominal surgery and is taking time away from public duties until after Easter.

Harry's relationship with the King and William was severely strained following Harry's decision to step down as a working royal in 2020 and air a catalogue of grievances against the institution of the monarchy and members of his family in a series of interviews.

Harry's controversial memoir Spare further damaged his ties with his father and brother, making claims William physically attacked him, the King put his own interests above Harry's and was jealous of the Duchess of Sussex. His visit to see his father has raised hopes of a reconciliation.

It comes as the royal family support the King as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the monarch’s cancer had “thankfully been caught early”.

A convoy carrying Prince Harry is seen arriving at Clarence House in central London (Peter Macdiarmid/LNP)
A convoy carrying Prince Harry is seen arriving at Clarence House in central London (Peter Macdiarmid/LNP)

Charles, 75, is facing regular treatment after his shock diagnosis during his recent hospital stay for an enlarged prostate.

The King, who has postponed all public duties, returned to London from Sandringham on Monday and has begun his medical care as an outpatient under the supervision of a specialist team of doctors.

His sister, the Princess Royal, 73, was on Tuesday facing the public, first at an investiture at Windsor Castle before carrying out a series of engagements in the Midlands.

Mr Sunak said he was left “shocked and sad” when he was told about the King’s diagnosis.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “All our thoughts are with him and his family. Thankfully, this has been caught early.” He added that everyone would be hoping that the King “gets the treatment that he needs and makes a full recovery”.

A helicopter took the King and Queen to Sandringham (PA)
A helicopter took the King and Queen to Sandringham (PA)

“That’s what we’re all hoping and praying for, and I’m of course in regular contact with him and will continue to communicate with him as normal.”

Asked what it meant for the day-to-day running of the country, Mr Sunak said “we’ll crack on with everything”.

“He’ll just be in our thoughts and our prayers. Many families around the country listening to this will have been touched by the same thing and they know what it means to everyone,” he said. “So we’ll just be willing him on and hopefully we get through this as quickly as possible.”

Charles was resting at Clarence House on Tuesday, with Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi seen leaving in the morning. Two separate deliveries of boxes of flowers were brought to the back entrance on Tuesday afternoon.

The King is on his “usual good form” after undergoing his first treatment, a palace source told the Telegraph.

Prince Harry was pictured leaving Heathrow in a SUV (Phil Harris / Daily Mirror)
Prince Harry was pictured leaving Heathrow in a SUV (Phil Harris / Daily Mirror)
Tuesday's Standard front page (Evening Standard)
Tuesday's Standard front page (Evening Standard)

The Queen, 76, has made clear that she is preparing to play an important role in supporting the King throughout his treatment while continuing with a full programme of public duties.

On Wednesday the Prince of Wales, 41, will return to public duties.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Edward and Sophie, will also step up to the plate. However, Edward is currently taking a break after recently returning from a trip to South Africa and the island of Saint Helena. Royal sources have stressed that the King will continue to receive red boxes and process state documents during treatment.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the King, who acceded to the throne 17 months ago, does not have prostate cancer. Further details of his condition have not been disclosed, and the palace, which announced the news in a statement at 6pm yesterday, asked for privacy and only confirmed it is a “form of cancer”.

Princess Beatrice arrives at the Clarence House on Tuesday morning (REUTERS)
Princess Beatrice arrives at the Clarence House on Tuesday morning (REUTERS)

Charles was diagnosed after a “separate issue of concern was noted” and investigated while he was being treated for his benign prostate condition.

Palace sources say it was too early to say when he will return to full public duty but he looked forward to doing so as soon as possible. No forthcoming state visits have been confirmed by the palace. Planning for future visits will continue where possible, making allowance for the changed circumstances.

It has been reported that he King has known about his diagnosis since early last week, insisting on going to church in Norfolk on Sunday and greeting well-wishers.

Flowers were delivered to Clarence House on Tuesday (REUTERS)
Flowers were delivered to Clarence House on Tuesday (REUTERS)

Camilla carried on with business as usual, opening a new Maggie’s cancer care unit in London last Wednesday. She told well-wishers at the Royal Free Hospital that Charles was “getting on, doing his best”. The King will continue with weekly audiences with the Prime Minister, with suitable arrangements made if he is advised by his doctors to minimise any in-person contact.

He is also hoping to continue with select meetings in private. He personally called both William and Harry, as well as his siblings the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Duke of Edinburgh, to give them the news before it was publicly announced.

The King during the state visit to France in September 2023 (Samir Hussein/PA)
The King during the state visit to France in September 2023 (Samir Hussein/PA)

The palace has called for the King’s privacy to be respected, especially during his treatment, but said he wanted to make his diagnosis public because of his long-running support for cancer charities.

Sustainable health practices have been a focal point for the King and he is also patron of several cancer-related charities. There are not expected to be regular updates on the King’s condition, with information only expected to be released when deemed appropriate and with his blessing.

This is the latest major royal health scare to hit the monarchy at the start of this year, coming after the King’s hospital stay, Kate’s major surgery, keeping her away from official duties until after Easter, and Sarah, Duchess of York’s skin cancer diagnosis.

The Duchess had a mole removed last year which turned out to be a malignant melanoma - the most serious skin cancer. It comes after she was treated for breast cancer last year. During reconstructive surgery, dermatologists removed several moles and raised the alarm. Tests after Christmas revealed one was malignant. The duchess will now have more tests to discover if the cancer has spread but it is hoped that the mole was found early enough.

A spokesman said: “Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing but the Duchess remains in good spirits.”