Amid Dire Reports About His Health, the Palace Issues a Wide-Ranging Update on King Charles

The news was accompanied by a never-before-seen photo of the King and Queen Camilla, taken the day after their 19th wedding anniversary this month.

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you were to believe news reports from yesterday, King Charles’ cancer battle had taken a turn for the worse, and his funeral plans (code named Operation Menai Bridge, just in case you wanted to know) were being revised in preparation. It just proves how fluctuating the news cycle is—and how careful one must be in consuming it—because today, Buckingham Palace released a statement on the King’s health, and the reports look overwhelmingly positive.

The Palace said that Charles is set to return to public engagements as doctors are pleased with progress in his cancer treatment—and the King, poignantly, will make a public-facing visit to a cancer treatment center on Tuesday alongside his wife, Queen Camilla, where they will meet with medical specialists and patients, Tatler reports. “This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements the King will undertake in the weeks ahead,” the outlet writes.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said that “His Majesty’s treatment program will continue, but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far that the King is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties,” they said. “Forthcoming engagements will be adapted where necessary to minimize any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery.” The Palace confirmed the King was “greatly encouraged” to be resuming some public-facing duties and “very grateful” to his medical team for their “continued care and expertise.”

King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, and Princess Kate

It has been a rough 2024 for the royal family, in particular the four most senior royals.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Charles has continued working throughout 2024, he has been away from public-facing duties most of the year, at first because of his prostate procedure in January and then, just weeks later, his cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment for it. A known workaholic, Charles’ nephew Peter Phillips—the son of his sister, Princess Anne—told Sky Australia recently that the King was “hugely frustrated” with his ongoing cancer treatment, and was constantly “pushing'' his staff to allow him to expand the scope of what he could do during his treatment, fully committed and determined to getting back to a full working schedule and a normal workflow. Sources speaking to longtime royal author Katie Nicholl for Vanity Fair told her that Charles was “a good patient” but “not a very patient one,” saying “He is doing well, but is frustrated more than anything else that he has had to take time off.” (Hey, after waiting nearly 74 years to do a job, wouldn’t you be annoyed if you were sidelined so soon into it?)

King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Easter service

The King at Easter service at Windsor on March 31, alongside the Queen; it was one of the few public-facing duties he's undertaken in 2024 as he prioritizes his health.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In its statement today, the Palace also announced that the King and Queen will host Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan for a state visit in June and released alongside the announcement a new photograph of themselves together, taken to celebrate their first anniversary following the Coronation, which was last May 6. The photo was taken in the Buckingham Palace garden on the morning of April 10, the day after Charles and Camilla celebrated 19 years married; the photo was taken by Millie Pilkington, a favorite of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In the statement, it was said the King and Queen are “deeply grateful” for the “kindnesses and good wishes” from around the world “throughout the joys and challenges of the past year.”

Scenes from Balmoral Castle

The news from Buckingham Palace today was overwhelmingly positive, and welcome after the rough start to 2024 for the royal family.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As for Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot, and Buckingham Palace garden parties as spring turns into summer, the King’s attendance hasn’t been confirmed yet, but “Planning continues for ways in which Their Majesties may attend such summer and autumn engagements, though nothing can be confirmed or guaranteed at this stage,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.