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UK's King Charles attends Sunday church service

King Charles and Queen Camilla (hidden) walk to church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England (JUSTIN TALLIS)
King Charles and Queen Camilla (hidden) walk to church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England (JUSTIN TALLIS)

Britain's King Charles III attended church on Sunday in his first public outing since Buckingham Palace's shock announcement almost a week ago that he has cancer.

The 75-year-old monarch was photographed walking into St Mary Magdalene Church on the royal country residence of Sandringham,  eastern England, where he is currently staying.

Charles waved to waiting media as he walked alongside his wife Queen Camilla before being greeted by the church's rector, Reverend Paul Williams, with the pair shaking hands.

The appearance came after the king released a message late Saturday expressing his "heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes" he had received since Monday's announcement.

Charles added that "such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement".

It was his first statement since Buckingham Palace said he had begun treatment for a "form of cancer", without specifying which type.

The diagnosis was made after a "separate issue of concern was noted" and investigated while he was being treated for a benign enlarged prostate.

Charles has taken an indefinite break from royal public duties but continues to perform administrative tasks behind closed doors.

His diagnosis came just 17 months into his reign following the death of his 96-year-old mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022.

He has generally enjoyed good health, barring injuries from polo and skiing.

Camilla said on Thursday that her husband was doing "extremely well" under the circumstances.

Charles was photographed on Tuesday in the back of a car as left his London residence of Clarence House for Sandringham.

He had held a brief meeting with his estranged younger son Prince Harry who flew in from the United States to see him following the diagnosis.

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