King Charles ‘Reinvigorated and Fired Up’ by Public Duties, Sources Say

Suzanne Plunkett/Pool/Reuters
Suzanne Plunkett/Pool/Reuters

Friends of King Charles III spoke of their delight today after the king undertook his first full public engagement in several months, an almost hour-long visit to a cancer treatment center in London.

One friend said “satisfaction was written all over his face,” and another source said that while the past few months have been “the hardest time of his life” they expected the king to be “reinvigorated and fired up” by being back out among the general public.

Cancer Be Damned, King Charles Is Back On Duty

However, highlighting that Charles is not out of the woods yet, after the engagement Charles went for treatment, understood to be radiotherapy, for his own cancer.

Far from distracting from Charles’ message, however, the reality of his own ongoing battle with the disease enhanced it, as a key part of Tuesday’s visit to the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre was to highlight the ability to carry on with life while being treated for cancer.

Charles drew attention to it himself, saying to one patient due to have treatment later in the day: “I know the feeling.”

Charles’ friend told The Daily Beast: “He was so happy to be back. You could see the satisfaction was written all over his face. It is what he was literally born to do, after all.”

Another source, a former Buckingham Palace staffer who worked for the king, said, “This (the time since his cancer diagnosis) must have been the hardest time of his life. I’m sure he will be exhausted on one level, but absolutely reinvigorated and fired up on another.”

The palace have said that the king plans to carry out more public engagements in the weeks and months ahead, but that these will be carefully reviewed and adapted where necessary.

While the palace has been cautious about raising expectations too far, and has been at pains to point out that Charles still has cancer and is still undergoing what can be grueling treatment for it, friends and other sources were heartened by Tuesday’s bravura display of royal fortitude.

Charles also chose today to announce that he is taking on a role as patron of Britain’s biggest cancer charity, Cancer Research UK. Several times during the visit, the king said: “We need to get more people tested early.”

Charles was asked regularly how he was feeling as he toured the facility, and replied, according to multiple reports, with variations on the formula: “I’m alright thank you very much, not too bad.”

In response to the question from one patient undergoing chemotherapy, however, he added: “It’s always a bit of a shock, isn’t it, when they tell you?”

“Charles has an extraordinary ability to connect in person that isn’t always recognized by people who haven’t actually met him,” said the former courtier. “I think he has missed doing it. It’s great to see him back at the coalface.”

Buckingham Palace did not respond to a request for comment on how the king felt the visit had gone.

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