King Charles III will “shortly return to public-facing duties” following his cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday, as his doctors are “sufficiently pleased with the progress” he has made so far with his treatment.

The king and Queen Camilla will make a joint charitable visit to a cancer treatment center next week and plans are underway for them to welcome Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan for a state visit to London in June.

The announcement comes as the monarch was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer back in February and has been performing a drastically reduced schedule of royal work since. He is continuing to undergo treatment.

A statement released by the palace on Friday said: “His Majesty The King will shortly return to public-facing duties after a period of treatment and recuperation following his recent cancer diagnosis.

“To help mark this milestone, The King and Queen will make a joint visit to a cancer treatment centre next Tuesday, where they will meet medical specialists and patients. This visit will be the first in a number of external engagements His Majesty will undertake in the weeks ahead.

“In addition, The King and Queen will host Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan for a State Visit in June, at the request of HM Government.

“As the first anniversary of The Coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year.”

King Charles III
King Charles III photographed leaving a London hospital, January 29, 2024. The king’s cancer diagnosis was announced in February.
King Charles III photographed leaving a London hospital, January 29, 2024. The king’s cancer diagnosis was announced in February.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

The news is a positive update from the royal family following a difficult start to 2024, with both the king and his daughter-in-law, Princess Kate, revealing they had received cancer diagnoses.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on Friday that the king is “greatly encouraged to be resuming some public-facing duties and very grateful to his medical team for their continued care and expertise.”

Charles’ return to his public-facing duties (reduced and on taking advice from his doctors) comes as he has slowly increased his visibility in recent weeks, hinting that his health was moving in a positive direction.

The royal surprised the media and fans during his Easter Sunday appearance at St. George’s Chapel on March 31 by performing a previously unannounced and unexpected walkabout, shaking hands with the public for the first time since his cancer diagnosis was announced.

The news of the diagnosis was broken just days after the monarch was discharged from hospital following a medical procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. In an unprecedented briefing on the health of a sovereign, on February 5 the palace announced that tests conducted at the time of the procedure confirmed that cancer had been present. The announcement stated that the king would continue to conduct official business of state but would subsequently reduce his public output while undergoing treatment.

Since then he has not performed his regular round of visits and in-person appearances around Britain or the Commonwealth which he would usually undertake.

Charles’ cancer diagnosis was followed by a second major health blow for the royals, when Princess Kate announced that tests following her own medical procedure in January had also detected traces of cancer.

On March 22, Kate revealed to the world she was undergoing a course of “preventative chemotherapy” and would remain out of the public eye while she had her treatment and took time to recover.

In a statement made after Kate’s announcement, Charles’ spokesperson said that he was “so proud” of his “beloved daughter-in-law” and has remained in the “closest contact” with her.

The news that the king will resume regular appearances comes as the monarchy gears up for one of its busiest periods of the year in the late spring and early summer.

As well as the incoming Japanese state visit, Charles has the annual Trooping the Colour parade in June, followed by Royal Ascot and Scotland week.

Looking ahead, reports suggest that he will also be embarking on a tour of Australia (his first as king) following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa which will take place in October.

Referencing these proposed appearances, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on Friday: “Planning continues for ways in which Their Majesties may attend such Summer and Autumn engagements, though nothing can be confirmed or guaranteed at this stage.

“All future plans remain subject to doctors’ advice nearer the time, with appropriate adaptations made where necessary to minimize any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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