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King Charles III is returning to royal duties after his cancer diagnosis

Britain's King Charles III (center), next to Queen Camilla, waves as they arrive at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on March 31.
Hollie Adams
AFP/Getty Images
Britain's King Charles III (center), next to Queen Camilla, waves as they arrive at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on March 31.

LONDON — King Charles III is returning to royal duty.

In a statement sent to journalists Friday, Buckingham Palace said the king "will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis."

It did not say Charles has been cured or whether he has finished his treatment. It has never disclosed what type or stage of cancer he was diagnosed with. He began unspecified treatment in early February.

To help mark what it called a "milestone" of his return, it said King Charles and Queen Camilla will make a visit next Tuesday to a cancer treatment center, where they'll meet with medical specialists and patients. "This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead," the statement said.

The palace added that the king and queen will host the emperor and empress of Japan for a state visit to Buckingham Palace in June.

King Charles began cancer treatment just weeks before his daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales, did the same. She began chemotherapy in late February, but her diagnosis wasn't made public until last month, after months of tabloid scrutiny about her whereabouts, and the publication of a family photo the princess says she altered. The palace has not disclosed the type or stage of her cancer either.

Charles' reign began with the September 2022 death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who was on the throne longer than any other British monarch. Charles' coronation happened eight months later, in May 2023.

Friday's statement from Buckingham Palace concludes: "As the first anniversary of The Coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.

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