First sighting of King at work since cancer diagnosis


Royal correspondent Sean Coughlan of PA Media reported that King Charles was photographed meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This marked the King’s first public appearance since announcing his cancer diagnosis. The King and Mr. Sunak shook hands upon the Prime Minister’s arrival at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Sunak expressed his delight at seeing the King looking well, to which the King humorously replied, “It’s all done with mirrors.” He also mentioned that the messages and cards he received had moved him to tears.

While undergoing treatment, the King has ceased public engagements but continues to fulfill his duties as head of state. The meeting with Mr. Sunak took place in the palace’s Audience Room, where the King expressed his admiration for cancer charities. However, the rest of their meeting was held privately.

The King has been spotted going to church in Sandringham and commuting to and from Clarence House in London, but this was his first formal appearance since his cancer diagnosis was announced over two weeks ago.

Earlier in the day, the King attended the monthly Privy Council meeting, a group of advisors to the monarch primarily composed of senior politicians from the House of Commons and House of Lords. Since being diagnosed with an unspecified type of cancer, the King has been receiving outpatient treatment.

He has continued with administrative duties such as handling government papers and signing documents, but has withdrawn from public visits and events.

The King’s meeting with Mr. Sunak is part of a confidential weekly audience between the monarch and the prime minister. They were seen entering the ornately decorated Audience Room, which houses an 18th Century Canaletto painting of the River Thames.

These meetings provide a traditional opportunity for the politically-neutral monarch to discuss state affairs with the current prime minister. Past prime ministers have viewed these meetings as a chance to discuss ideas without party political pressures.

Edward Heath, a Conservative prime minister from the 1970s, once said of his meetings with Queen Elizabeth II, “It was always a relief to be able to discuss everything with someone, knowing full well that there was not the slightest danger of any information leaking.” Labour’s Harold Wilson, who reportedly had a good relationship with the late Queen, sometimes had meetings that lasted up to two hours.

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