Charles Reemerges for Easter Service

Kate, William, and children don't attend Windsor Castle service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2024 10:10 AM CDT
Well-Wisher to King: 'Keep Going Strong'
Britain's King Charles III, center, and Queen Camilla arrive for the Easter Matins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England, Sunday.   (Hollie Adams/Pool Photo via AP)

The UK's King Charles III shook hands and chatted with onlookers after attending an Easter service at Windsor Castle on Sunday in his most significant public outing since being diagnosed with cancer last month. The king, dressed in a dark overcoat and shiny blue tie, smiled as he made his way along a rope line outside St. George's Chapel for about five minutes, reaching into the crowd to greet supporters who waved get-well cards and snapped photos on a chilly early spring day, the AP reports. "You're very brave to stand out here in the cold," Charles told them. "Keep going strong," one member of the crowd shouted as Charles and Queen Camilla walked by.

The 75-year-old monarch's appearance was a reassurance to the public after Charles stepped back from public duties in early February following an announcement by Buckingham Palace that he was undergoing treatment for an unspecified type of cancer. The king has continued fulfilling his state duties, such as reviewing government papers and meeting with the prime minister. But his attendance at an event like the Easter service may be a sign that he is beginning a managed return to public life. British media reported last week that Charles would slowly increase his public appearances after Easter, per the AP.

The service itself was smaller than usual as Kate, the Princess of Wales, is also being treated for cancer and has paused public duties. The princess; her husband, Prince William; and their children did not attend. Kate's announcement that she, too, had cancer was made on March 22, weeks after she had abdominal surgery. Charles' enforced absence from public life has been a setback for a man who waited almost 74 years—longer than any previous heir—to become king. The palace has worked to keep Charles in the public eye. Videos of the king reading get-well cards and an audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak were released. (Charles skipped a traditional event Thursday.)

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