Amid King Charles Cancer Battle, A Look At History Of Illnesses In Royal Family

Britain’s King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday. The 75-year-old monarch will postpone public-facing duties while he undergoes treatment but is looking forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible. 

The palace said that during his recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, “a separate issue of concern was noted” and that subsequent diagnostic tests had identified “a form of cancer”. In a statement issued yesterday, the Royal family said, “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.”

Here is a look back at the history of illnesses in the Royal Family:

Kate Middleton

Photo Credit: AFP

The Princess of Wales was hospitalised for two weeks after undergoing successful abdominal surgery, Kensington Palace said in January. “The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery. Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter (on March 31),” the palace said.

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, just months after she was treated for breast cancer. The 64-year-old’s spokesperson informed that the disease was detected after several moles were removed when she was treated for breast cancer in June.

Doctors are currently assessing whether the melanoma was detected in its early stages. “She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages. Another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing but the Duchess remains in good spirits,” her spokesperson added. 

Queen Elizabeth II

In October 2021, Queen Elizabeth II was admitted to the hospital as she had reportedly experienced low energy and weaknesses. She was unable to attend public engagements because of her deteriorating health. In February 2022, she experienced mild cold-like symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19.

The longest-serving British monarch died on September 8, 2022. Her old age was considered as the cause of death.

Prince Philip

In April 2021, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip died at the age of 99, due to “old age”. The Duke of Edinburgh had received treatment for a pre-existing cardiac issue at the hospital a month before his death.

Princess Margaret

Queen Elizabeth II’s only sibling Princess Margaret was diagnosed with several illnesses linked to her heavy smoking and drinking during her last years.

She had to have a portion of her left lung removed in January 1985. Years after quitting smoking, she struggled with health issues, having multiple strokes, paralysis and vision problems prior to her death in 2002. 

Queen Mother

The Queen Mother, died in 2002 at the age of 101 due to chronic hip problems and ulcers on her left leg, which limited her movement in her last years.

King George VI

King George VI died in 1952 of heart failure. He had undergone a major operation to remove his left lung in 1951, however, it led to a blood clot which caused the blockage of the coronary arteries that carry blood to the heart. 

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