King Charles to return to public duties while continuing cancer treatment

<span>A picture of King Charles and Queen Camilla in the Buckingham Palace garden released to mark the anniversary of their coronation on 6 May.</span><span>Photograph: Millie Pilkington/Buckingham Palace/PA</span>
A picture of King Charles and Queen Camilla in the Buckingham Palace garden released to mark the anniversary of their coronation on 6 May.Photograph: Millie Pilkington/Buckingham Palace/PA

King Charles, who is being treated for cancer, is to return to public duties, with doctors pleased and “very encouraged” by his progress and “positive” about his continued recovery, Buckingham Palace has said.

Charles, who announced in early February he had been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer, will continue treatment while resuming some public-facing engagements, though he will not undertake a full summer programme.

His first engagement will be to visit a cancer treatment centre on Tuesday accompanied by Queen Camilla, though it is not a centre directly involved in his medical care. There he will meet medical specialists and patients as patron of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

He will also host a state visit by the emperor and empress of Japan in June.

A palace spokesperson said Charles was “greatly encouraged to be resuming some public-facing duties and very grateful to his medical team for their continued care and expertise”.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “His Majesty the King will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis.

“To help mark this milestone, the king and queen will make a joint visit to a cancer treatment centre next Tuesday, where they will meet medical specialists and patients. This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead.

“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.”

The spokesperson said the king’s treatment programme would continue, “but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress so far that the king is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties”.

Engagements will be adapted to minimise any risks to his continued recovery. The spokesperson added it was too early to say how much longer Charles’s treatment would continue, but his medical team “are very encouraged by the progress made so far and remain positive about the king’s continued recovery”.

“Any public-facing engagements will be announced nearer the time in the usual way, and will remain subject to doctors’ advice, but it will not be a full summer programme. His Majesty will of course continue with all official state business and selected audiences, as he has done throughout his period of treatment.”

Though Charles will now be able to meet people indoor and outdoors, each engagement will be carefully reviewed and managed to reduce any risk to his continued recovery.

His engagements will also be paced to prevent him overdoing it while continuing treatment. The “pacing” will be “carefully calibrated as his recovery continues, in close consultation with his medical team”, the spokesperson said.

The king’s summer programme would, under normal circumstances, include the Birthday Parade, D-Day commemorations, the annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, Royal Ascot and an autumn tour overseas.

“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,” the spokesperson said,

Charles’s cancer was diagnosed after treatment for a benign enlarged prostate, though it is not prostate cancer. Buckingham Palace has said it has no plans to share further details of his specific condition or treatment plan at this stage.

The Princess of Wales revealed on 22 March that she had also been diagnosed with an unspecified cancer, and is undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

The king has been dividing his time between his Sandringham estate in Norfolk and London, where he is receiving qutreatment.

A new picture of the king and queen has been released to mark the anniversary of their coronation on 6 May. It was taken in the Buckingham Palace garden on 10 April, the day after the couple’s 19th wedding anniversary.