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King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive to attend a Sunday service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.Joe Giddens/The Associated Press

King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and begun to receive treatment, less than 18 months into his reign.

Messages of support have poured in from around the world for the 75-year-old monarch who succeeded his mother, Queen Elizabeth, after her death in September, 2022.

“I, like Canadians across the country and people around the world, am thinking of His Majesty King Charles III as he undergoes treatment for cancer,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on X.

“I just heard his diagnosis. Hopefully I’ll be talking to him soon,” said U.S. President Joe Biden.

King Charles sought treatment last month in London for an enlarged prostate. Palace officials announced at the time that his condition was benign and that he had a corrective procedure. Officials said then that the King “was keen to share the details of his diagnosis to encourage other men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked, in line with public health advice.”

On Monday, royal officials said doctors had now discovered that the King has cancer, but they added that it was not prostate cancer. “During the King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” said a statement from Buckingham Palace.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the King was receiving expert care and he looked forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

Officials did not provide further details but added in a statement that the King had “chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

King Charles had been staying at the royal estate in Sandringham, Norfolk, with Queen Camilla. He appeared healthy enough this weekend to attend church. He returned to London Monday morning to start treatment as an outpatient and officials said he was at home in London by evening.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wished the monarch a speedy recovery. “I have no doubt he’ll be back to full strength in no time, and I know the whole country will be wishing him well,” Mr. Sunak said on X.

Canada’s Governor-General Mary Simon praised the King for making his diagnosis public.

“His Majesty has always led with passion, and he has always endeavoured to inspire others to create a better world,” she said.

“Today, with this news, he once again is leading by example. So many Canadians are going through this battle. Two out of every five Canadians will be diagnosed with a type of cancer in their lifetime. Seeing His Majesty acknowledge cancer so openly and publicly will hopefully encourage and motivate those who are struggling with their own treatment.”

A palace spokesperson said the King will continue to manage state documents and that there were no plans to appoint Counsellors of State who could step in if needed. The King is also expected to continue holding some private meetings as well as his weekly meeting with Mr. Sunak.

Officials said it was too early to say when the King would resume public duties. Queen Camilla and other members of the Royal Family will continue with full programs of public events while the King receives treatment. That includes the Prince of Wales, who is expected to resume his duties on Wednesday now that his wife, the Princess of Wales, is recovering at home from recent abdominal surgery. Palace officials have not disclosed the details of her condition, but she is not expected to return to a full slate of engagements for several weeks while she recuperates.

There had been reports that King Charles planned to visit Canada this spring. On Monday, palace officials said no state visits had been confirmed but that planning for future visits would continue, with allowances for the changed circumstances.

Media reports in Britain said Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, was expected to fly to London from his home in California this week to visit his father. “The Duke did speak with his father about his diagnosis. He will be travelling to the U.K. to see His Majesty in the coming days,” a source close to Harry told the Press Association.

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