How King Charles III Has Kept Calm and Carried on Since His Cancer Diagnosis

King Charles III to Sit Apart From Royal Family at Easter Service

As Easter rolls around this year, the royal family is looking to resurrect confidence in the centuries-old institution.

Even before the shocking one-two punch of King Charles III and Kate Middleton's health crises, things had simply not been the same since Queen Elizabeth II's death in September 2022, which couldn't help but change the entire royal vibe in the U.K.

Still, taking a cue from their late matriarch, the remaining senior royals chugged along, never officially responding to the slings and arrows flying their way (many of them coming from inside the family).

But then business as usual ground to a halt in January: Kensington Palace announced that Kate Middleton was going to be out of the public eye while recovering from abdominal surgery until at least after Easter on March 31. Hours later, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles was being treated for an enlarged prostate.

On Febคำพูดจาก Web Game Casino . 5, six days after he was discharged from the hospital, the palace stated that Charles had been diagnosed with cancer and would be stepping back from public-facing duties while undergoing treatment.

If there was not one more shred of royal news for the rest of the year, that would have been enough of a what-does-this-mean-for-the-monarchy moment. Of course, that is not what happened.

photosA Timeline of the Kate Middleton Conspiracy Saga

Seven speculation-packed weeks later—during which the palace had to politely shut down a rumor originating in Russia that Charles had died—Kate revealed in an unprecedented March 22 video message that she was in the "early stages" of preventative chemotherapy after post-op tests "found cancer had been present."

And the first person to applaud her candor—aside from countless civilians on social media—was her father-in-law.

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The king was "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did," a palace spokesperson told NBC News. Charles had "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks" and he and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

Let alone his own difficult time, which has sidelined the 75-year-old when it's more important than ever for him to be out and about, demonstrating that the centuries-old institution he oversees is in steady hands.

As Charles' mother, who reigned for 70 years, famously put it, "I have to be seen to be believed."

How King Charles III Has Kept Calm and Carried on Since His Cancer Diagnosis

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So while the king was in "good spirits," nephew Peter Phillips also guessed that his uncle had to be "hugely frustrated."

"He's frustrated that he can't get on and do everything that he wants to be able to do," the 46-year-old son of Charles' sister Princess Anne told Sky News Australia in an interview published March 24 (but given before Kate spoke out). "But he's very pragmatic. He understands that there's a period of time that he really needs to focus on himself."

Which apparently doesn't come any more naturally to him than it did to the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose commitment to her role remains the stuff of legend and a certain Emmy-winning Netflix drama.คำพูดจาก Nhà Cái Casino Online

"He is always pushing his staff and everybody, and his doctors and nurses, to be able to say, 'Actually come on, you know, can I do this? Can I do that?'" Peter said. "So the overriding message would be that he's obviously very keen to get back to a form of normality. And he's probably frustrated that, recovery is taking a little longer than probably he would want it to."

photosKing Charles III's Road to the Throne

When the palace first shared his diagnosis, no timeline was offered as to how long Charles might be away from the public eye, though from day one it was understood that he still planned to tend to state business behind closed doors. (Incidentally, though the public still doesn't know what type of cancer he has or what his treatment has entailed, sharing at all was a relatively transparent move on the monarch's part.)

As expected, William, Camilla, Anne and youngest brother Prince Edward all pressed onward as the co-faces of the Firm in Charles' absence.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you also for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days," William told an audience at an Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner in London on Feb. 7. "It means a great deal to us."

Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images

But it was only a couple of weeks before Charles resumed meeting in person with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who—as seen in a video shared afterward of the usually private appointment—complimented the king on how well he looked as he walked into the Buckingham Palace office on Feb. 21.

"All done by mirrors," Charles quipped.

More comfortable showing emotion than his impossibly stoic predecessor, the king told the PM, "I've had so many wonderful messages and cards. It's reduced me to tears most of the time." 

Jonathan Brady – Pool/Getty Images

While he's primarily been staying at his Sandringham residence in Norfolk, photographers have been on hand to capture snippets of Charles at work in Buckingham Palace: Meeting with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt March 5; on a video call the next day with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau while sitting at the desk that belonged to his late father, Prince Philip; greeting ambassadors from Algeria and Mauritania in the 1844 Room; meeting alums of the Windsor Leadership Trust on March 26.

Charles is also still hoping to make it to Australia with Camilla for their first state visit to the Commonwealth nation since becoming king and queen, according to nephew Peter, who said the couple "would obviously love to see as many people as possible."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in early March, per local media, that they were "preparing for a possible visit from His Majesty The King to Australia later this year."

photosMembers of the Royal Family Attend Easter Church Service 2023

On March 21, during a two-day trip to Northern Ireland, Camilla told a well-wisher at the Arcadia deli in Belfast that her husband of almost 19 years was "doing very well."

She added, per Hello!, "He was very disappointed he couldn't come." And in response to a joke about men not being "the best patients," Camilla assured, "I try to keep him in order."

She also became the first-ever monarch's consort to appear in their spouse's stead at the Royal Maundy Service on March 28, with Charles expressing his regrets that he couldn't be there in a prerecorded video message. 

Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images

"In this country, we are blessed by all the different services that exist for our welfare," the king said, per a recording shared by NBC News. "But over and above these organizations and their selfless staff, we need and benefit greatly from those that extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need."

But while Charles has been seen to an extent over the past two months in videos and photographs, and he's been snapped from a distance on Sunday walks to church in Sandringham (be it rain or just clouds), the traditional March 31 Easter service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor will mark his first public event since before his hospitalization in January.

He and Camilla will be seated apart from the main congregation, including other members of the family, according to the Telegraph, out of precaution for Charles' health. But his attendance is unequivocally an important step on the road back to normalcy—for the king and the people who've got to see the royals to believe.

Keep reading for a rundown of what already feels like a year's worth of royal news:

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