King Charles III is breaking his silence less than a week after Buckingham Palace alerted the public that he is battling cancer.
In a statement released by the palace on Feb. 10, the monarch focused on thanking those who have wished him well as his cancer fight begins.
“I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days,” the king’s statement began. “As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement.”
King Charles then said it was “heartening” to know that his health disclosure has helped raise awareness among members of the public.
“It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world,” his statement continued. “My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience.”
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The king’s cancer diagnosis came to light after he was admitted last month to the London Clinic, a private hospital, for treatment of an enlarged prostate, which the palace said was benign. Additional testing conducted while he was there revealed “a separate issue of concern” that doctors determined was cancer, according to a Feb. 5 Buckingham Palace announcement.
The type of cancer he’s fighting has not been publicly disclosed.
King Charles began his cancer treatment earlier this week and stepped away from his public-facing duties upon his doctors’ advice. In the days following his diagnosis, Prince William has resumed his public duties, which he postponed following his wife Kate Middleton’s recent abdominal surgery. Prince Harry also traveled from his home in California to the U.K. for a brief visit so that he could check in on his estranged father.
Before the king broke his silence, Queen Camilla said he was “very touched” by the well wishes he’d received in the days after his diagnosis. King Charles is “doing extremely well under the circumstances,” the queen said on Feb. 8, according to CBS News.
Next: King Charles Has Cancer: What to Know About the Monarch’s Health