King Charles reveals side effect of cancer treatment on rare joint engagement with Prince William

Prince of Wales officially receives command of his brother’s former regiment in further blow to Prince Harry

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Monday 13 May 2024 20:11 BST
Prince Harry shows off basketball skills as Meghan watches on during visit to Nigeria

The King today gave a rare insight into his ongoing private battle with cancer as he attended a joint official engagement with Prince William.

Charles, 75, was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in February after a check-up found an unrelated, enlarged prostate that proved to be benign.

On Monday, he discussed the side effects of cancer treatments with British army veteran and cancer survivor Aaron Mapplebeck while visiting the Army Flying Museum in Middle Wallop, Hampshire.

When Mr Mapplebeck said he had lost his sense of taste during chemotherapy for testicular cancer last year, the King said this had also happened to him during his own treatment journey. It is not known what type of cancer Charles has or the treatment he is undergoing.

The personal insight into the monarch’s health status came as Charles officially handed over command of Prince Harry‘s former regiment to the Prince of Wales.

King Charles III on Monday gave a rare insight into his ongoing private battle with cancer (Chris Jackson/Getty)

The Army Air Corps is the Duke of Sussex’s old unit, in which he served as an Apache helicopter commander and co-pilot gunner during his second tour to Afghanistan in 2012.

The King’s decision to hand the role to William was seen as a blow to Harry when it was announced last year.

The King said it was a “great joy” to meet servicemen, their families and veterans at an earlier visit to the Army Flying Museum but added the handover was “tinged with great sadness”.

He said: “I do hope you’ll go from strength to strength in the future with the Prince of Wales as your new Colonel-in-chief.

“The great thing is he’s a very good pilot indeed – so that’s encouraging.”

King Charles officially handed over command of Prince Harry‘s former regiment to the Prince of Wales (Getty)

He unveiled a plaque commemorating an Apache AH Mk1 going on display, the first of its kind to be installed at a UK museum.

The aircraft was one of four involved in a rescue mission during the Battle of Jugroom Fort in 2007.

The King said: “Let me just say what a great joy it is to be with you even briefly on this occasion but also it is tinged with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all, admiring your many activities and achievements through the time that I’ve been lucky enough to be Colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps.”

Charles and William in front of an Apache helicopter at the Army Aviation Centre on 13 May (Getty)

General Nick Barton, who took part in the rescue operation, said it was a “unique honour” to meet the King who served as an important “figurehead” for the soldiers.

The symbolic public engagement between Charles and William comes just days after Harry missed out on seeing his father and brother on his brief trip to London.

The Prince of Wales talks with service personnel at the Army Aviation Centre (Kin Cheung/PA)

The Duke of Sussex attended a ceremony at St Paul’s to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Invictus Games on 10 May, while the King hosted the first garden party of the season a few miles away at Buckingham Palace.

William embarked on his first engagement with the Army Air Corps after the King left, receiving a briefing on its work and inspecting training and operational aircraft as well as talking to soldiers.

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