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Ever since his cancer diagnosis was revealed, questions and concerns continue to arise surrounding the future of the monarchy. Understandably, there’s a major question on everyone’s minds: Is King Charles stepping down? Now, the monarch is speaking up about his diagnosis for the first time since his diagnosis, and his statement may give us a solid understanding of his plans moving forward.
In January 2024, King Charles was admitted to a hospital for a routine procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. But less than two weeks after the operation, Buckingham Palace announced that doctors discovered the monarch had “a form of cancer” following additional tests. “His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” the palace shared in a statement on February 5, 2024. “Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”
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The statement continued: “The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible. His Majesty has 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.”
As the monarch continues his treatment, however, questions continue to arise about his future on the throne. The major concern on everyone’s mind: is King Charles stepping down? Here’s what we know so far—including what the king has said himself since his diagnosis was first announced.
Is King Charles stepping down?
Is King Charles stepping down? So far, the answer is no. While the monarch is taking a break from public facing duties throughout his treatment, the palace has since confirmed that he will continue to carry out his duties as head of state, including any paperwork and private meetings with officials.
Royal experts largely agree that the monarch will not abdicate the throne. Carolyn Harris, a royal history instructor at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Education, told USA Today that if an abdication were ever to occur, it would only be under extreme circumstances. “In Britain, you don’t see peaceful abdications,” she told the publication on February 8, 2024. Harris believes the king would have to be extremely ill before deciding to step down, given “the examples of his mother and father to keep calm and carry on,” she said. “They will have had a huge impact on him to carry on with this until the end of his life.”
As for King Charles, the monarch is taking his diagnosis in stride. In his first statement since the palace announced his condition, King Charles expressed his immense gratitude for the support he’s received from around the world. “As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement,” he shared on Saturday, February 10, 2024.
“It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organizations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world,” he continued in his statement. “My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience.”
The king’s statement came one day before he was seen publicly for the first time since announcing his cancer diagnosis. On Sunday, February 11, 2024, the monarch and his wife, Queen Camilla, were photographed on a walk on their royal Sandringham estate. King Charles smiled and waved at a crowd of around 100 well-wishers who gathered outside the estate grounds to express their support, before walking into the church on the estate for a morning service.
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