King Charles seen ‘teary’ before cancer announcement: royal watcher

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King Charles III’s physical appearance left one royal expert concerned before his cancer diagnosis was announced.

“I have for some time thought that King Charles looks teary and tired, but I put this down to grief, a demanding workload and family upsets as he is incredibly fit,” royal broadcaster and photographer Helena Chard told Fox News Digital.

“I’m sure grief has affected Charles as it would any caring person, but he has enormous support and love from his family and all working royals,” she shared. “Prince William is back to work. The Princess Royal is busy as ever and so is Queen Camilla. I do feel sorry for Queen Camilla, though. She is really pushed as she is also making sure her husband is happy and well. Luckily, she is a kind, happy and strong character, and that’s exactly what is required at this delicate time.”


King Charles III was diagnosed with cancer 18 months after he assumed the throne. (Max Mumby/Indigo)

The 75-year-old has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday. The palace didn’t say what form of cancer the British monarch has, but noted it’s not related to his recent treatment for a benign prostate condition.

The palace said “a separate issue of concern was noted” during Charles’ treatment for an enlarged prostate last month when he spent three nights in a London hospital.

“Diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” the palace said in a statement.

A close-up of King Charles wearing his crown

King Charles III was crowned on May 6, 2023, in London. (Richard Pohle – WPA Pool)

Charles ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. England’s longest-reigning monarch died in 2022 at age 96.

British broadcaster and commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital that the king has maintained a stoic image. He doesn’t doubt that any somber image may have stemmed from losing his beloved mother, as opposed to any physical ailments.

“Grief has likely had a significant impact on King Charles over the last couple of years,” he explained. “Losing one’s parents, especially one as influential and central to one’s life as Queen Elizabeth II was to King Charles, can have profound effects. The period following the queen’s passing has been one of immense change and adjustment for Charles, not only personally, but also in his new role as monarch. This transition, coupled with the responsibility of leading the royal family during a period of national mourning, could certainly contribute to stress and its physical manifestations.”


A close-up of a somber looking King Charles inside a car

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave Clarence House in London following the announcement of the monarch’s cancer diagnosis on Monday evening. (James Manning/PA Images)

“Grief can manifest in both physical and emotional ways,” Sacerdoti continued. “It’s plausible that the stress and sorrow following [the queen’s] passing could have had a noticeable impact on his appearance and overall health. Members of the royal family, while public figures, experience personal challenges and health issues just like anyone else.”

Despite this personal setback, several royal experts are hopeful that the king will have a speedy recovery and get back to work, as he would prefer.

“Physically, Charles has always been a pretty tough guy – a superb horseman, an avid skier, a seemingly inexhaustible hiker,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” explained to Fox News Digital.

King Charles wearing a brown coat walking next to Camilla

King Charles III and Queen Camilla attend the Sunday service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on Feb. 4, 2024, in Sandringham, England. (Max Mumby/Indigo)

“Starting with a string of childhood maladies – chronic tonsillitis, bouts with the flu so serious that they required hospitalization, an emergency appendectomy, a broken ankle resulting from a fall down palace stairs – Charles went on to suffer numerous broken bones and a severely injured back playing polo. He was even struck by a bus while riding his bike in Cambridge. But he has always bounced back.”

“I don’t get the impression that Charles has looked or acted unwell at all,” Andersen shared. “On the contrary, he has come into his own as king and it shows. King Charles has been his old vigorous self despite a punishing schedule of travel and events. That’s why the news has come as a shock to everyone.”

“The idea that he has somehow been undone by grief over the passing of his 96-year-old mother 18 months ago seems like a stretch to me,” Andersen added.


King Charles in a carriage wearing a white robe

King Charles III and Queen Camilla travel in the Diamond Jubilee Coach, built in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace ahead of their coronation. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

One source who knows the king alleged to People magazine that “he has not looked himself.”

“I put it down to grief – he’d had two deaths close together [his mother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 and his father Prince Philip in April 2021], but maybe he wasn’t well, without realizing so. It would take it out of him.”

But signs seem to show that the health crisis isn’t dire. Prince Harry, who made the whirlwind trip from California to see his father, left London on Wednesday after spending about 24 hours in the U.K., The Sun reported. His older brother Prince William also went back to public duties that same day.

King Charles looking sad next to his mothers coffin

King Charles III and members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19, 2022, in London. (Danny Lawson – WPA Pool)

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told BBC Radio that the king’s cancer was at an early stage.

Chard also pointed out that while the king has temporarily stepped back from public duties as he continues his treatment, he’s still as busy as ever.

“He is fulfilling his paperwork… duties, privy council updates and weekly meetings with the prime minister,” she said. “I can picture him furiously whizzing through his paperwork diligently.”


A close-up of King Charles wearing a black suit and medals looking sad

Charles, then Prince of Wales, during the funeral of his father, Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021, in Windsor, England. (Leon Neal)

“The fact that he is so fit is good news as I’m sure his immune system will keep strong, and he will win his cancer fight,” she shared. “King Charles has a positive outlook and a strong faith, which will get him through all challenges or ‘the remaining time God grants me.’”

Sacerdoti also noted that the royal family is “a tightly-knit unit,” one that has provided Charles with all the support he needs during his recovery.

“The royal family’s collective front at public engagements and their shared commitment to their royal duties suggest a framework of mutual support. It’s clear that the royal family, despite its unique position, faces challenges similar to any other family dealing with health issues, grief, and the need to support one another. These situations also highlight the balance they must maintain between their private lives and public roles, managing personal adversity while fulfilling their duties to the public and the Commonwealth.”

Queen Camilla in a hunter green suit waving

Queen Camilla waves during a visit to the newly opened Meadows Community Center on Feb. 2, 2024, in Cambridge, England. (Arthur Edwards/Getty Images)

British royals expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital that she’s also optimistic about the king’s recovery, pointing out that he has always lived a healthy lifestyle.

“[We’re] talking about little alcohol, no nicotine and plenty of exercise,” said Fordwich. “He was an avid polo player until recent years… His aides have expressed how strenuous it is to keep up with him as he hikes. His entire life, he’s been known as a workaholic. Harry even referred to this in his memoir ‘Spare,’ that he would fall asleep on his desk many a night.”

“Back in the 1980s, before ‘organic’ became familiar in many households, the then-Prince Charles was an early advocate of organic food,” she said.


Newspapers announcing King Charles cancer diagnosis on top of each other

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that the king would step back from official duties while being treated for cancer. (Photo illustration by Ming Yeung)

According to the palace, the king “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.” He is being treated as an outpatient.

“Frankly, I think that no one was more surprised by his cancer diagnosis than the king,” said Andersen. “Charles doesn’t look or act like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s not losing weight. His steps aren’t halting. He does not seem worn down or depressed. He is engaged as ever, by all accounts. Keep in mind that we are talking about a 75-year-old here. Of course, all that could change, and quickly. This is why the palace should really share more details about His Majesty’s cancer diagnosis – the type and the prognosis.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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