“Thankfully, this has been caught early,” Sunak told the BBC on Tuesday, adding that he was hoping the king “gets the treatment that he needs and makes a full recovery.”
Sunak said he was in “regular contact” with the king. When asked whether his weekly in-person meetings will continue — the king usually meets with the prime minister on Wednesdays — Sunak said, “We don’t need to get into the details, but I am in regular contact with him, as I always am.”
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who crowned Charles at his coronation, posted on X that he was “praying for the king and his family — for God’s comfort and strength in the weeks and months to come.” The king is the supreme governor of the Church of England.
The comments come a day after Buckingham Palace announced that Charles, 75, had been diagnosed with cancer, although it did not say what type.
While Charles as been more forthcoming about his health issues than his mother, Queen Elizabeth II — whose death certificate said simply that she had died of “old age” — there is still much that has been left unsaid. It raises speculation about how serious his condition is and whether other royals might step in to pick up duties that he is no longer able to perform.
Charles told both of his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, about his diagnosis before the palace went public on Monday evening.
British media reports said that Harry is expected to arrive back in Britain later on Tuesday. It’s unclear where he will stay. He handed back the keys to Frogmore Cottage in January 2023, shortly after his memoir, “Spare,” was published.
It’s unclear what kind of contact Harry has had with his father since the publication of his best-selling memoir. In the book, Harry writes Charles — or his “Pa” — as a three-dimension person, someone with both strengths and flaws. But the book was widely seen as attacking an institution that he seeks to change.
In one section of the book, Harry describes a tense meeting between him, his brother and his father in which Charles stood between his two sons’ flushed faces and said “please, boys — don’t make my final years a misery.”
Harry did attend Charles’ coronation last year, although he stayed on the sidelines of the ceremony and didn’t appear with other royals for the finale moment on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. He is said to have called his father for in November for his 75th birthday.
Royal watchers were speculating that William, heir to the throne, may have to step up his royal duties if Charles is unable to resume them fully for some time. Charles is expected to continue to receive his “red boxes,” containing documents from the government that the monarch must review, and to meet with the prime minister for his weekly audience.
Charles and Camilla have upcoming trips planned for Canada, in May, and Australia, New Zealand and Samoa, in October. Some have wondered if William might step in for these trips if needed, depending on the king’s health.
“Jill and I join the people of the United Kingdom in praying that His Majesty experiences a swift and full recovery.”
Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, commented on his Truth Social platform that Charles was “a wonderful man, who I got to know well during my presidency, and we all pray that he has a fast and full recovery!”