While the King's cancer diagnosis is surprising and concerning, it is by no means the first health issue the royal family has faced.
News of His Majesty's ordeal was made public by the palace yesterday, just days after the king left hospital following treatment for an enlarged prostate.
It came as the Princess of Wales continued to recover from what was only described as an “abdominal operation”.
Charles' openness about his diagnosis is itself a sharp contrast to the final months of King George VI, who died of lung cancer on this day 72 years ago.
The condition was kept secret from the king himself, who died five months after part of his left lung was removed.
In the last decade of his life, Prince Philip had several hospital stays, most recently for treatment of a pre-existing heart condition. He died in April 2021, just weeks after leaving the hospital for the last time.
The Queen Mother also struggled with health problems. She suffered from persistent ulcers on her left leg and broke her left hip in 1998, three years after having her right hip replaced.
While the King's cancer diagnosis is surprising and concerning, it is by no means the first health issue the royal family has faced. Above: The King and Queen Camilla attended church in Sandringham last Sunday
Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99, enjoyed remarkably good health until his final decade.
In 1961 he suffered a broken bone in his left ankle after a collision on the polo field and in 1963 he suffered a laceration on his arm that required stitches.
The Duke also fell from his pony in 1964 and injured his ligaments.
His first publicly reported surgery was the removal of a cyst from his wrist in 1967, while he was hospitalized for a hernia in 1987.
He also had a small benign growth removed in 1997.
Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99, enjoyed remarkably good health until his final decade. Above: Prince Philip leaves hospital in March 2021. He died the following month
Aged 90, the first serious health news about Philip came to light when he was admitted to hospital in December 2011 after suffering chest pains.
The Duke underwent surgery for a blocked coronary artery and spent four days in hospital.
In June 2012, Philip was hospitalized again for six days after contracting a urinary tract infection during the river parade to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The following year, he spent 11 days in the hospital undergoing abdominal surgery to treat an undisclosed condition. He spent his 92nd birthday in the hospital.
In June 2017, the Duke of Edinburgh was back in hospital as a “precautionary measure” due to an infection due to a previous illness.
In 2013, Prince Philip spent 11 days in hospital for abdominal surgery to treat an undisclosed condition. During treatment he lived to be 92 years old. Above: The Duke of Edinburgh leaves the London Clinic following his treatment in 2013
In April 2018, he spent almost two weeks in the hospital after a successful hip replacement.
And in December 2019, Philip was again treated in hospital for his pre-existing but unknown condition.
His longest hospital stay, which began in February 2021, was his last.
Prince Philip underwent a procedure to treat a pre-existing heart condition and ended up spending four weeks in hospital.
He was pictured waving to well-wishers as he left hospital treatment, but then died on April 9, just two months before his 100th birthday.
The Queen Mother
The Queen Mother remained remarkably resilient throughout most of her life.
But in the last years of her life before her death in 2002 at the age of 101, she suffered from a number of illnesses.
In addition to persistent ulcers on her left leg, she suffered from hip problems that made walking difficult.
This led to his first hip replacement in 1995. In 1998, she had to have her other hip replaced after breaking it in a fall.
In 2000, she broke her collarbone after tripping and falling at Clarence House.
The Queen Mother remained remarkably resilient throughout most of her life. But in the last years of her life before her death in 2002 at the age of 101, she suffered from a number of illnesses. Above: Leaving King Edward VII Hospital after surgery to replace her left hip
And in July 2001 she was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital and given a blood transfusion after being diagnosed with anaemia.
The health problems in her last years came after she was confined to bed for a week in September 1942 and suffered from acute bronchitis.
In February 1964, the Queen Mother was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery to treat appendicitis.
In November 1982, the Queen had to stay in hospital again to have a fish bone removed from her neck.
In May 1993, she spent another three nights in the hospital to remove a piece of salmon that was blocking her throat.
The condition forced her to cancel a planned visit to Canada and a tour of New Zealand and Australia.
The Queen Mother also had her own private battle with cancer. This was revealed in historian William Shawcross's 2009 biography of the king.
He told how she had to have a tumor removed from her colon in 1966 and a cancerous tumor from her breast in 1984.
In July 2001 she was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital and given a blood transfusion after being diagnosed with anaemia
In February 1964, the Queen Mother was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery to treat appendicitis
Queen Elizabeth II
The late queen generally enjoyed robust health throughout her life.
She was diagnosed with coronavirus in February 2022 and in the months before her death there were increasing concerns about her mobility after she missed the opening of Parliament in the state.
In October 2021, she spent a night in hospital for an unknown reason after canceling a planned visit to Northern Ireland.
Buckingham Palace said at the time that she had been admitted for “preliminary investigations.”
The late queen generally enjoyed robust health throughout her life. She was diagnosed with coronavirus in February 2022 and in the months before her death there were increasing concerns about her mobility after she missed the opening of Parliament in the state
It was her first overnight stay in the hospital in eight years. The last time was an admission for gastroenteritis.
Author Giles Brandreth recounted in his book published shortly after the Queen's death that he had heard that Her Late Majesty suffered from a form of myeloma – bone marrow cancer.
He said this may have explained her fatigue and “mobility issues,” which were often reported to the public.
However, respected royal writer Robert Hardman revealed in his latest book that the Queen had peacefully moved on from old age.
The Queen spent time in hospital in 2013 treating a bout of gastroenteritis. Above: The monarch leaves the hospital in March 2013
King George VI
Although King George VI. While he was in largely good health for most of his reign, his heavy smoking ultimately took its toll.
In September 1951, he had his left lung removed for what was then described as “structural anomalies.”
In reality it was cancer, but the king's doctors kept this diagnosis secret from both the public and the monarch himself.
Although King George VI. While he was in largely good health for most of his reign, his heavy smoking ultimately took its toll
King George VI speaks with his younger daughter Princess Margaret as the couple travel to Balmoral in May 1951
Although he apparently recovered from the procedure, the king died suddenly five months later, in February 1952, of coronary thrombosis – a blood clot in the blood vessels or arteries of the heart.
Before being treated for lung cancer, the King also struggled with problems with his arteries, which almost caused him to lose his right leg in 1949 when he developed a blocked artery.
This led to the postponement of a planned tour of New Zealand and Australia.
George's death came as a shock to the public and the royal family.
He had said goodbye to his 25-year-old daughter and heiress Elizabeth just a few weeks earlier when she left for Kenya.
News of her father's death and her immediate accession to the throne reached the queen while she was on safari.
In September 1951, he had his left lung removed for what was then described as “structural anomalies.” In reality it was cancer, but the king's doctors kept this diagnosis secret from both the public and the monarch himself. Above: The bulletin issued by Buckingham Palace staff when the King had part of his lung removed
Queen Elizabeth II's sister, Princess Margaret, suffered from poor health in her final years.
Because she was a heavy smoker, she had to undergo surgery in 1985 to remove part of her left lung.
It soon became apparent that no cancer had been found in the tissue removed.
This operation took place five years after treatment at the exclusive London Clinic to remove a benign skin lesion.
Queen Elizabeth II's sister, Princess Margaret, suffered from poor health in her final years. Above: Margaret at her mother's 101st birthday party in 2001. The Queen Mother's butler, William Tallon (above), was blamed for allowing her to be photographed in such poor condition. She had recently suffered a stroke
In 1993 she had to be hospitalized again due to pneumonia.
In her final years, she also suffered from migraines, laryngitis, bronchitis and hepatitis.
And in 1999 she suffered severe burns to her feet while trying to get into a hot bath while on holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique.
However, the most serious decline in her health came from a series of strokes.
Her last affliction, which she suffered the day before her death, was her third.
Princess Margaret was treated at the London Clinic in 1980 to have a benign skin lesion removed
The king's cancer diagnosis is believed to be the first serious illness of his life.
Prince Harry revealed in his memoir Spare that his father suffered from chronic neck and back pain, which he attributed in part to old polo injuries.
He suffered a herniated disc in the early 1990s and aggravated the injury two years later when he fell from a horse at Windsor.
His Majesty had to have a benign growth removed from his face in 2008 and was subsequently seen with a plaster on the right side of his nose.
King Charles' so-called “sausage fingers” have attracted a lot of attention from royal watchers over the years
In 1990, he broke his right arm after falling from a horse during a polo match. He spent three nights in the hospital and ultimately required surgery to correct the problem.
In January 1998 – the same year he had to undergo keyhole surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee – Charles fell from his horse again and broke a rib.
He had been galloping through the Welsh countryside with the Wynnstay Hunt when he fell.
And during a fox hunt in Derbyshire in January 2001, Charles' horse made an “unexpected leap” and knocked him to the ground.
He fell awkwardly and was believed to have dislocated his shoulder.
A subsequent X-ray revealed that he had actually broken his acromion, a small bone at the edge of the shoulder blade.
Charles fell from his horse again in August 2001 after a skirmish in the goal area during a charity polo match at Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire.
Charles broke his right arm after falling from his horse during a game at Cirencester in 1990
The headfirst fall left him unconscious and he was in danger of swallowing his tongue until a medic rushed onto the pitch.
Charles was carried away on a stretcher and some in the horrified crowd, which included supermodel Claudia Schiffer, later admitted they thought he was dead.
In November 2001, Charles arrived for royal duty wearing a rather worrying bandage over his left eye.
It turned out that the king had just sawed off a branch from a tree at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire estate, when he managed to get sawdust in his eye.
Charles fell awkwardly from his horse during a hunt in 2001 and broke his acromion, a small bone at the edge of the shoulder blade
The dust scratched his cornea and temporarily impaired his vision. After treatment by a local doctor, he was referred to a specialist and given a day of rest.
Charles underwent surgery in March 2003 for a hernia, which was reportedly caused by a gardening injury while working on the Highgrove site.
The condition, caused by part of the intestine protruding through an abdominal muscle, caused Charles significant pain – and subsequent surgery meant he had to cancel his annual ski holiday to Klosters, Switzerland.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today program on Tuesday, former royal press secretary Simon Lewis said Charles' openness about his cancer diagnosis was his “style” as monarch.
“I think it was actually the style of the King’s first year,” he said.
“That's obviously an element of it.” But if you think about the book and the access that was given to Robert Hardman, if you think about the documentary, if you think about his overall style as King, then I think that very agrees well with it.
In 2008, King Charles underwent a minor procedure to remove a benign growth from his face
“And I think his advisers actually got it right in making that statement, which I'm sure we'll talk about.”
“I think 20 years ago we would have made a very abrupt, short statement and that was it.” And I think they've gone as far as they could, considering the King was diagnosed with cancer and, how A lot of people know processing this is a pretty difficult process.”
Mr Lewis said it was “not so much the crisis itself but rather the way in which the crisis is dealt with” that defines it.
“In this case, what could have been a crisis has now been clearly contextualized.”
“I think he can go about his professional life knowing that people understand that he is also receiving this treatment.”
“As I said, so many people across the country are receiving this type of treatment.” There are so many people who want to continue their working lives while being treated for cancer.
“I think that’s a very, very positive message.”
Chron royal correspondent Robert Hardman told the Today program it was “hugely significant” that the royal was so transparent about his health.
In November 2001, Charles sawed a branch off a tree at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire estate, and got sawdust in his eye
“I think where we are now, we'll say so much, but it's all about precedent,” he said.
“If you set a precedent and reveal all the details for every patient at any time and immediately, that can be disturbing.”
“I think they will want to release information as and when it deems appropriate.”
“We feel like we’ve been open enough so far. If you want to know more, you will.”
“This is where we are now. “We want to hold something back because everyone does.”