King is ‘doing his best’, says Camilla during charity centre opening

The King is “doing his best” after receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate, the Queen revealed as she opened a charity’s centre supporting cancer patients.

Camilla’s update came as she officially launched Maggie’s centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London where a supporter of the charity wished Charles a speedy recovery.

The King was discharged from the London Clinic on Monday after three nights receiving medical care at the hospital where the Princess of Wales had been recovering from abdominal surgery, before being allowed home the same day.

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
Maggie’s Royal Free chief executive Dame Laura Lee welcomed the royal visitor (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Charles is expected to spend a period recuperating, and when asked during the visit about her husband’s health the Queen replied “He’s getting on, doing his best,” reported The Telegraph.

Later Sir Michael Pakenham, a supporter of Maggie’s, told the Queen as she toured the new £6 million centre: “All best wishes to His Majesty for the very best recovery.”

She replied: “Thank you very much, that’s very kind, I’ll pass it on.”

Camilla has been president of Maggie’s since 2008. The charity supports cancer patients and their families, with its 24 centres all based in hospital grounds.

“I think all hospitals should have a Maggie’s,” Camilla told Rebecca Longmate, the Royal Free’s director of nursing.

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
Camilla has been president of Maggie’s since 2008 and was making her visit to one of its centres as Queen (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Camilla was making her first visit to a centre as Queen and has visited many across the country.

She joked with a group of donors, telling them: “I try to get around them and another one goes up – I never can catch up.”

Camilla sat down with a small group of cancer patients who told her of their experiences of Maggie’s, which launched an interim centre at the Royal Free in 2016 before the purpose-built structure was completed in December.

Billie Jean Daniels, 51, from nearby Highgate, who has been treated for breast cancer since being diagnosed in December 2022, said afterwards: “Although the previous space was slightly tired and slightly leaky environment, for me it was my safe haven, it was my home from home.”

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
The Queen met volunteers and visitors during her visit to London’s Royal Free Hospital to officially open its Maggie’s centre (Paul Grover/Daily Telgraph/PA)

She said of the new building, which has curved walls and is painted in a subtle cream palette: “It’s wonderful to be in this space and I absolutely adore it – it’s like a flower opening and signifies my hope and positivity.

“For me being with people, meeting people going through the same terrifying experience, was an absolute godsend.”

The charity was founded by Maggie Keswick Jencks, and her husband, Charles Jencks, after she received a second cancer diagnosis in 1993 and was moved to a windowless corridor with her partner to process the news.

The couple discussed the need for somewhere “better” for people with cancer to go, and the first centre opened in 1996 in Edinburgh.

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
Camilla with Maggie’s Royal Free chief executive Dame Laura Lee outside the new cancer support centre (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead is a leading cancer institution and Peter Landstrom, group chief executive of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, gave a speech outlining its work and the support Maggie’s gives to cancer patients.

He said: “But the reality is that for an individual, for their family, getting a cancer diagnosis, even being referred to a hospital for cancer, is probably one of the scariest, most impactful times that anyone and their family will ever go through – it is frightening.

“We’ve got an incredible and long-standing relationship with Maggie’s that goes back a number of years. And it is absolutely fantastic that the support that Maggie’s gives to those patients and their families is going to be delivered in this amazing, amazing new building at the Royal Free.”