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King Charles III Says the Public’s Support During His Cancer Battle Has ‘Reduced Me to Tears’

King Charles III Says the Publics Support During His Cancer Battle Has Reduced Me to Tears
King Charles III. Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The outpouring of support for King Charles III during his ongoing cancer battle has not been lost on the monarch.

“I’ve had so many wonderful messages and cards,” Charles, 75, told U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, February 21, during the king’s first public appearance since announcing his diagnosis. “It’s reduced me to tears most of the time.”

Charles appeared to be in good spirits when he greeted Sunak, 43, according to photos and video footage from the meeting.

After Sunak told the monarch it was “wonderful to see you looking so well,” Charles quipped, “It’s all done with mirrors.”

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The prime minister let out a laugh, according to the clip shared via the Daily Mail, adding, “Well, we’re all behind you. The country’s behind you.” Sunak pointed out that a silver lining to Charles’ diagnosis has been the “spotlight” it’s shown on his charity work and organizations dealing with cancer.

“I hear there’s been a lot more attention and interest on those main, wonderful cancer charities, many of which I’ve been patron for years,” Charles replied with a laugh. Sunak agreed, adding, “They do incredible work up and down the country,” to which Charles responded, “They do, they do.”

King Charles III Says the Publics Support During His Cancer Battle Has Reduced Me to Tears
Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Charles has been meeting with Sunak behind closed doors or virtually since his cancer announcement on February 5. Wednesday’s exchange, however, is the first time the king has been publicly seen since the news of his illness broke.

Buckingham Palace announced earlier this month that while Charles was getting surgery for a benign prostate enlargement in January, doctors found “a separate issue of concern.” After running tests, “a form of cancer” was detected.

The monarch has since begun a “schedule of regular treatments,” the palace shared, noting that Charles was temporarily postponing “public-facing duties” upon doctor’s orders.

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Charles has not yet revealed what type or stage of cancer he is battling, but his eldest son, Prince William, addressed reporters on February 7 about his condition. “We really appreciate everyone’s kindness,” the prince, 41, said at the time.

Charles issued his own statement on February 10, saying, “I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days. As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement.”

Us Weekly confirmed on February 6 that Charles’ youngest son, Prince Harry, flew from Los Angeles to London to see his father.

Harry, who lives in California with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children, addressed his dad’s health battle the following week.

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“I love my family,” Harry, 39, said during a February 16 appearance on Good Morning America. “The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.”

Harry, who has been at odds with his relatives since his royal step back in 2020, noted he has “other trips plans” that will allow him to be in the U.K. “So, I’ll stop in and see my family as much as I can,” he added.

A source exclusively told Us on February 14 that “Charles was extremely touched by Harry’s gesture.” A second insider explained that Charles’ health issues could be the “starting point” to the family getting back on track.

“The consensus is that life is too short, and there’s hope this will lead to repairing the rift,” the source added.

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