The announcement on February 5th that King Charles III has cancer sent shockwaves around the world.
Less than a year into his reign following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, the 75-year-old monarch is now confronting his own mortality.
The statement from Buckingham Palace provided few details about Charles’ condition, only that he underwent tests after a routine prostate surgery in January which revealed an unspecified form of the disease.
Charles has begun “regular treatments” and will postpone some public duties as he battles the illness.
The British Royal Family facing King Charles Cancer
The news sparked immediate speculation about what Charles’ diagnosis could mean for the future of the British monarchy.
As the palace statement noted, it may require Charles’ son and heir Prince William to take on more responsibilities.
William and his wife Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, have already faced their own family health crisis recently with Catherine’s hospitalization for abdominal surgery.
Charles’ diagnosis also highlights the slimmed-down state of the modern royal family.
With his younger son Prince Harry exiting from royal duties and living in California, and his brother Prince Andrew removed from public life due to scandal, the burden on senior royals has grown.
Insiders have hinted Charles may have been run down even before the cancer diagnosis, dealing with grief from the 2021 death of his father Prince Philip and the loss of his mother Queen Elizabeth in September 2022.
While Charles has expressed optimism about his treatment, any cancer diagnosis at age 75 is concerning.
It raises unavoidable questions about the longevity of his reign and his ability to fully carry out his duties as monarch.
For now, the world watches and waits as this latest challenge confronts both the man and the institution he has spent a lifetime preparing to lead.
What kind of cancer does the king have?
Some reports said the diagnosis was prostate cancer, but others said it could be bladder cancer.
Although it has been reported that the King will begin his treatment, Buckingham has not yet revealed what type of cancer it is, but they made it clear that it is not prostate cancer.