King honours doctor in charge of his cancer treatment

Dr Michael Dixon has been the head of the Royal Medical Household since 2022
Dr Michael Dixon has been the head of the Royal Medical Household since 2022 - DAMIEN MCFADDEN

The King has personally honoured the pro-homeopathic doctor who leads his medical team during his continued programme of cancer treatment.

The appointment of Dr Michael Dixon as head of the Royal Medical Household in late 2022 caused a stir over his “unconventional” views on homeopathy and faith healing.

The King, however, has been a lifelong supporter of alternative medicine.

In recent months, following his cancer diagnosis, he is thought to have relied heavily on Dr Dixon as he has navigated his treatment plan, which is carefully balanced with his public duties.

The Devon-based GP has been made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), while Dr Fiona Butler, the King’s GP – otherwise known as the apothecary to the King – has been made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO).

Also honoured is Emily Cherrington, the deputy chief executive of the King’s Foundation, who took over the running of the charity from Michael Fawcett, the monarch’s former valet, in the wake of the cash for honours scandal.

The Rev Kenneth MacKenzie, the domestic chaplain to the King and minister at Crathie Kirk, the small chapel on the Balmoral estate, has been made an LVO.

The chaplain read to Elizabeth II from the Bible shortly before she died and was in attendance when her coffin was at rest in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle.

Awards of the Royal Victorian Order are in the King’s gift and are bestowed, independently of Downing Street, to those who have served the monarch or the Royal family in a personal way.

Dr Michael Dixon has become known for his smart suits and bow tie
Dr Michael Dixon has become known for his smart suits and bow tie - BPM MEDIA

Dr Dixon, 72, and the King, 75, have for decades enjoyed a close relationship, borne of their shared interest in alternative therapies.

The GP has long advocated for a complementary or “integrative” approach to medicine, once stating that he was “converted” to homeopathy after inviting a Christian healer into his NHS clinic.

In 1999, he wrote a paper in which he said that being seen by spiritual healers “may be an effective adjunct for the treatment of chronically ill patients presenting in general practice”.

In 2019, the then Prince Charles said of the doctor: “I have nothing but the greatest admiration for everything he has managed to do over all these years.”

Since he was quietly appointed to the royal household shortly after the death of Elizabeth II, Dr Dixon has accompanied the monarch on trips to state visits to Germany and Kenya.

Often snappily dressed in a suit and  bow tie, he heads a team of doctors and specialists responsible for looking after the Royal family, his salary paid from the King’s private purse.

He was medical director of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, a charity founded by the King in 1993 that promoted complementary and alternative medicine.

When it shut down in 2010 amid a fraud scandal, Dr Dixon co-founded the College of Medicine and Integrated Health in its place, which seeks to tackle illness “with every medical tool available to us without discrimination”. The then Prince of Wales agreed to be its patron in 2019.

Four years earlier, the heir to the throne made Dr Dixon, who was then described as “medical adviser to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall”, an LVO.

He was said at the time to have helped develop the now Queen’s deep interest in ayurveda, a form of Indian traditional medicine.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Dr Dixon’s appointment last December, just a month before the King was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer.

It said in a statement: “Dr Dixon does not believe homeopathy can cure cancer. His position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based.

“As Prince of Wales, The King’s position on complementary therapies, integrated health and patient choice was well documented. In his own words, ‘Nor is it about rejecting conventional medicines in favour of other treatments: the term complementary medicine means precisely what it says’.”

Others honoured by the King include Michael Dooley, the Queen’s physician, and Jean-Christophe Gray, Prince William’s former private secretary, who are both made LVOs, and Baron de Mauley, the Master of the Horse, who is made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.