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King Charles: Best wishes after cancer diagnosis - Drakeford

King Charles III
King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer

First Minister Mark Drakeford has sent his best wishes to King Charles, who has been diagnosed with cancer.

It is not prostate cancer, but was found during treatment for an enlarged prostate.

The type of cancer has not been revealed, but a Palace statement said the King began "regular treatments" on Monday.

Mr Drakeford said: "I'm saddened to hear the news that HM King Charles III is facing further health challenges.

"My thoughts and those of people across Wales will be with him and his family this evening.

"I send my very best wishes as he starts treatment for a full and swift recovery. Gwellhad buan."

"Gwellhad buan" is Welsh for "get well soon".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "shocked and sad" to hear of the King's diagnosis, but said he was thankful the illness was "caught early".

Senedd presiding officer Elin Jones opened proceedings on Tuesday by giving the Welsh Parliament's best wishes to the King.

King Charles speaking in the Senedd as the Llywydd Elin Jones looks on
King Charles spoke in the Senedd (show with the presiding officer Elin Jones) following the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022

"First as a Senedd, I'm sure we would wish to extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery to King Charles as he begins his cancer treatment," she said.

Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, sent his "best wishes to His Majesty The King from the Conservative benches for a speedy recovery, and praise to him for coming forward with the condition that he's fighting with the hope that he'll bring other people forward to have a speedy diagnosis, as we know that time is of the essence".

Rhun ap Iorwerth, leader of Plaid Cymru, said: "May I wish the King well after his diagnosis and wish everyone facing cancer a speedy recovery too."

Prof Tom Crosby, consultant oncologist and National Cancer Clinical Director for Wales, said an early diagnosis was crucial.

Speaking to Radio Wales Breakfast, he said: "Earlier detection and faster diagnosis is key to improving outcomes to cancer."

He added that the King's decision to share the news of his diagnosis was "good news" for the cancer community.

"It certainly encourages people who are worried about signs or symptoms, particularly if they are persistent, to seek advice.

"We often see when these cases hit the headlines that people are persuaded to check things out and that's a really important thing to improve outcomes for patients in Wales."

Cancer charity Tenovus' chief executive, Judi Rhys, said: "It just goes to show how important it is that things are caught early, often before you even know that you have it."

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said: "This is bound to be a profoundly unsettling piece of news at a time when symbols of stability and dependability are so vital for our well-being.

"In addition to the deep shared concern for King Charles at a personal level, we may well reflect on the importance of such symbols in giving us a focus for our life together as a family of national communities in the UK, a life together that goes beyond partisan rhetoric and mutual suspicion."

Archbishop of Wales Andrew John said: "I was deeply concerned to hear of The King's illness, and we wish to assure him of our special prayers for his swift recovery to full health.

"His Majesty has always had a special relationship with the people of Wales, and I know they will hold him and his family in their hearts and in their thoughts at this time."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: King Charles III leaves The London Clinic on January 29, 2024 in London, England. The King has been receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate, spending three nights at the London Clinic and visited daily by his wife Queen Camilla. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was saddened to hear of King Charles' "health challenges"

Senedd presiding officer Elin Jones wrote on X: "Very best wishes to King Charles as he begins his cancer treatment."

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said: "Sending my best wishes to His Majesty for a speedy recovery.

"Sharing this news is real leadership and I hope it will encourage others to get checked.

"God Save The King."

Also on X, Welsh Secretary and Monmouth MP David TC Davies said: "I'd like to wish His Majesty the King a speedy recovery as he receives treatment for cancer, on behalf of everyone across Wales."

Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said: "Cancer cruelly touches the lives of so many families.

"His Majesty the King is to be commended for his openness in discussing his diagnosis. I wish him a full and speedy recovery."