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King makes public Easter service appearance: Timeline of royal health troubles

The King has made his most significant public appearance since his cancer diagnosis, attending an Easter Sunday service in Windsor.

The Princess of Wales and her family were not in attendance following Kate’s announcement that she is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

Here is the timeline of the health troubles facing the royal family.

– Tuesday January 16

Kate is secretly admitted to The London Clinic and undergoes abdominal surgery.

She attends the clinic rather than King Edward VII’s Hospital which is usually the go-to establishment for royal medical matters.

– Wednesday January 17

2pm – Kensington Palace announces the princess’s operation and says she will remain in the private hospital for 10-14 days.

She was not expected to return to duties until after Easter, taking up to three months to recover.

Royal visit to Sebby’s Corner
The Princess of Wales during a visit to Sebby’s Corner in Barnet, north London in November (Frank Augstein/PA)

The Prince of Wales steps back from his official duties temporarily to care of his wife and children.

The exact nature of Kate’s condition is kept private, but it is not cancerous and Kensington Palace says the planned procedure was successful.

3.25pm – Buckingham Palace announces the King, 75, is to have treatment for a benign enlarged prostate and will be admitted to hospital in a few days.

Royals attend church service
The King at a Sunday church service in Sandringham in early January (Joe Giddens/PA)

A source later says the princess is “doing well”.

– Thursday January 18

The Prince of Wales spends time at his wife’s bedside, driving himself away from the back entrance during the low-key, private visit.

A serious-looking William is seen leaving the private The London Clinic at about 12.35pm.

The Queen says the King is “fine” and “looking forward to getting back to work” during a visit to the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Royal visit to Aberdeen Art Gallery
The Queen has carried on with her engagements (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Friday January 19

The King flies back from Scotland with the Queen and heads to his Sandringham estate in Norfolk to rest ahead of the procedure.

– Sunday January 21

It is announced that the King’s former sister-in-law, Sarah, Duchess of York, has malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

It is less than a year since the duchess, 64, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Royals attends Christmas Day Church service
Sarah, Duchess of York, attended the Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham (Joe Giddens/PA)

– Monday January 22

The Queen tells 86-year-old well-wisher Jessie Jackson that the King is “fine”, and thanks her for asking, while she carries out engagements in Swindon.

Sarah, Duchess of York, meanwhile, describes her shock at having skin cancer but says she is in “good spirits” and “grateful for the many messages of love and support”, in a post on Instagram.

Royal visit to Swindon
The Queen receiving get well cards for her husband the King in Swindon (Adrian Dennis/PA)

– Tuesday January 23

Kate’s hospital stay passes the one-week mark.

Camilla urges the King to take it easy.

An insider told The Sun: “The Queen has told him he needs to slow down a bit.”

– Thursday January 25

The King carries out behind-the-scenes official duties, meeting academics from Cambridge University at Sandringham House.

He later arrives back in London from Norfolk ready for his treatment.

– Friday January 26

The King, with the Queen at his side, is admitted to the London Clinic for treatment for an enlarged prostate and also visits the Princess of Wales, who is recovering in the same hospital.

King Charles hospital visit
Camilla visiting the King in hospital (James Manning/PA)

– Monday January 29

The King is discharged from hospital and waves at well-wishers.

Kate leaves the clinic the same day to continue her recovery at home.

– Wednesday January 31

Camilla says the King is “getting on, doing his best” as she opened a Maggie’s cancer support centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Maggie’s Royal Free opening
The Queen during her visit to London’s Royal Free Hospital to officially open Maggie’s Royal Free, a new cancer support centre (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

– Sunday February 4

The King and Queen attend church in Sandringham, with Charles waving at well-wishers.

– Monday February 5

Kensington Palace confirms the Prince of Wales is returning to official duties this week, beginning with an investiture.

Royals attend church service
The King and Queen arrive to attend a Sunday church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)

6pm – Buckingham Palace announces the King has a form of cancer, but not prostate cancer, and has started treatment as an outpatient.

He will not carry out public-facing duties, but will carry on with behind the scenes state business and official papers.

– Wednesday February 7

The Prince of Wales speaks about the King’s cancer diagnosis for the first time and thanks the public for their “kind messages of support”.

William’s words of praise, delivered during a fundraising gala dinner, also recognise those who wished the Princess of Wales well as she recovers from planned abdominal surgery.

He tells the guests: “It means a great deal to us all.”

On the same day, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace confirm the King will hold his weekly audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over the phone rather than face-to-face.

– Sunday February 11

The King makes his first public appearance since the announcement of his cancer diagnosis when he visits St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk.

Charles, accompanied by the Queen, waves to the public before attending the morning service.

– Monday March 4

The Princess of Wales is photographed for the first time since undergoing abdominal surgery.

Kate is pictured near Windsor Castle on Monday in the passenger seat of a car, according to TMZ.

The news site said she was wearing dark sunglasses in the black Audi which was being driven by her mother, Carole Middleton.

The photo is understood to have been taken by paparazzi.

– Tuesday March 5

The Army removes a claim on its website that the Princess of Wales will review Trooping the Colour in June.

Tickets were being sold on the official website for the June 8 military spectacle, advertising an appearance by Kate, on Tuesday evening.

– Sunday March 10

Questions are raised that the first picture of the Princess of Wales to be released after her abdominal surgery may have been manipulated before it was posted on social media by Kensington Palace.

The photo of Kate and her children, said by the palace to have been taken by the Prince of Wales in Windsor earlier this week, was posted to mark Mother’s Day.

The photograph is later withdrawn by international picture agencies because of concerns that the image had been manipulated.

– Monday March 11

The Princess of Wales publicly takes the blame for the manipulated family photograph released by Kensington Palace as she issued a personal apology for the “confusion”.

Kate said sorry with a statement on social media which read: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.

“I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

– Monday March 18

Footage emerges of the Princess of Wales alongside her husband during a visit to a farm shop in Windsor over the previous weekend.

– Tuesday March 19

An investigation is launched at the London Clinic over claims staff tried to access the Princess of Wales’s private medical records.

On the same day, the King holds a private audience with four Korean War veterans but does not attend a reception held by the Princess Royal and Duchess of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in which Charles, in a speech read by Anne on his behalf, praised the British veterans’ “valiant service”.

– Thursday March 21

The King holds audiences with new high commissioners from Tanzania and Singapore.

Charles first holds an audience with Tanzania’s top diplomat Mbelwa Kairuki at Buckingham Palace.

He then meets Singapore’s high commissioner to the UK, Ng Teck Hean, and his wife.

– Friday March 22

6pm – In a recorded video message broadcast to the nation, the Princess of Wales announces she is having chemotherapy after tests following her surgery found cancer had been present.

– Thursday March 28

The King addresses a congregation assembled at Worcester Cathedral for Royal Maundy Service through a pre-recorded audio message, though he does not attend in person.

Charles speaks of his “great sadness” in being unable to partake in the service and highlights his gratefulness for “those who extend the hand of friendship” to those in need.

Queen Camilla attends the service in his place.

– Sunday March 31

The King attends an Easter Sunday church service in what marked his most significant public appearance since the announcement by Buckingham Palace in February that he had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and is undergoing treatment.

Charles joins the Queen and other members of the royal family at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Sunday in a smaller version of the annual gathering.