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NHS nurse who met King at Marie Curie event wishes him full recovery

An NHS nurse who met King Charles at a Marie Curie hospice event said the openness the monarch has shown around his cancer diagnosis is “absolutely fantastic” as she wished him a “full recovery”.

Michelle Beaver, 51, a cardiology nurse at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, met the King twice in 2019: first in Liverpool at the 60th anniversary of the Marie Curie Hospice, of which Charles is a patron; and again at a garden party held at Buckingham Palace which Ms Beaver was invited to attend.

She said Charles was “really down to earth”, “lovely” and “made everyone feel special”, adding that the awareness he has raised around getting checked for signs of cancer has been “absolutely fantastic”.

“I thought it was really good because it got awareness out there and I believe men going to get their prostate checked went up massively which was absolutely fantastic,” Ms Beaver, who has worked within the NHS for 32 years, told the PA news agency.

Michelle Beaver with her husband Peter during a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London
Michelle Beaver, pictured with her husband Peter, met the King during a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2019 (Michelle Beaver/PA)

“He’s had the tests and getting dealt with and hopefully he’ll make a full recovery.”

Mrs Beaver, who fundraises regularly for Marie Curie and said the cause is “close to her heart”, added: “The best thing is to keep a positive attitude and get out the other end.

“I think if you hide away in a ball and cry, it’s harder to beat, but a positive attitude in life gets you further.

“I’m saying that easily because I’ve never suffered through cancer, but I know family members who have and have passed away, so it’s quite close to my heart.”

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that Charles had been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has postponed all public-facing duties, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.

King Charles III cancer diagnosis
Charles and Camilla leaving Clarence House in London on Tuesday (James Manning/PA)

The Prince of Wales has stepped into the role as the leading member of the royal family at official events across the country while his father receives treatment.

Chris Johnson, a father-of-three living with terminal cancer, told PA that he would guess Charles is “thinking more about his family than himself”.

The 44-year-old was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stomal tumour in 2019 which was surgically removed but during a routine scan in the summer of 2020, it was discovered the disease had spread to his liver, making it “incurable”.

“What a lot of people I’ve spoken to, and what I feel, is that it actually ends up affecting the family more than it affects the patient, especially for grown adults,” Mr Johnson, from Sunderland, said.

Chris Johnson taking a selfie outside Buckingham Palace during a marathon
Chris Johnson, living with terminal cancer, said he hopes more people will get themselves checked for the disease following the King’s diagnosis (Chris Johnson/PA)

“I would guess that he’s thinking more about his family and the people around him.

“The other cancer patients that I interact with all tend to say the same, we’re not too much worried about ourselves, we’re worried about the people around us.”

He added that Charles “always seems to be a strong-willed character” and he wished him “all the best”.

“Hopefully it has a positive effect; grown middle-aged men tend to be the least likely to go and get things get checked out,” he said.

“The King being open about his own diagnosis helps other to people go and get checked out and not ignore symptoms.

“It needs to be talked about as much as possible, so the fact that the King has come out and spoken about it as much as he has, has got to be helpful.”