Queen Camilla says King Charles is 'doing very well' during Belfast visit

Queen Camilla says King Charles is 'doing very well' during Belfast visit

Queen Camilla has said King Charles is “doing very well” following his cancer diagnosis as she met well-wishers in Belfast.

She said the King is in good spirits at home despite missing out on the trip as she took home bags of local produce for him to enjoy while he continues his treatment.

Camilla is undertaking a number of engagements in Northern Ireland after arriving at the region’s royal residence Hillsborough Castle on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, she arrived to crowds of well-wishers on the bustling Lisburn Road in south Belfast.

She met owners and staff at Coffey’s Butchers, The Arcadia deli and Knotts Bakery before doing an impromptu meet and greet with well-wishers.She came away with bags full of local produce, promising she would take them home for her husband - after enjoying a snack herself.Asked several times about the King's wellbeing, she said "he's doing very well", joking that "I try to keep him in order"."He's very disappointed he can't come," she added.At Coffey's Butcher, which has been operating on the Lisburn Road since 1929, she met some of the three generations of the family who run it, remarking: "My gosh there are a lot of you!"Inspecting the meat counter, she said: "My goodness me what a great  selection" and asked:  "All of these are locally sourced? What do you sell the most of?""It's wonderful, it's all very tempting. It's lovely to see you thriving."During her visit to The Arcadia, shop assistant Brenda Robb asked after Charles, and handed her a get well card for him, extending her best wishes.

 (Liam McBurney/PA Wire)
(Liam McBurney/PA Wire)

Camilla accepted the card and thanked her, adding: “He’s doing very well …. he was very disappointed he couldn’t come.”

Responding to quips about men “not being the best patients”, Camilla said: “I try to keep him in order.”

Ms Robb told the PA news agency: “She was beautiful, a real lady. She accepted a get well card that I got for her husband and she said she was sorry her husband wasn’t here.

“It was a very appropriate card. It had a wee saying from Belfast, basically rest up, take care, and on the back of it, it said from Ireland. It was picked with love.

“People say maybe he’ll not get the card, but I think he will.”

At Knotts Bakery, the Queen was told about its traditional Ulster baking methods with no machinery involved in the family business, which employs 120 people.She was given a fruit loaf and iced madeira, which she did not promise to entirely take home for the King."She said she'd eat some of them on the way home," said co-owner William Corrie, 38.

 (Liam McBurney/PA Wire)
(Liam McBurney/PA Wire)

The Queen was particularly taken by his son, 23-month-old Fitzwilliam Corrie-Salmon, who wore a small tuxedo he had chosen for the occasion and put on a lively show for the visiting cameras."We have a natural for the cameras," she announced, grinning as she watched him.

"There's something so wonderful about this kind of place," she said.

"She was a lovely lady," said Mr Corrie.

"Genuinely interested in the products. It's very good to have her here."Camilla arrived in Northern Ireland on Wednesday evening, with a bugler from the Hillsborough Ford Guard playing to mark her arrival at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down.

The Queen was last in Northern Ireland in May 2023 when she and the King undertook engagements on their first visit to the region following the coronation.

She is travelling alone this week after Charles stepped back from his public duties while receiving treatment for cancer.