The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell has sent a message of hope and prayer to King Charles following the news of his cancer diagnosis.

Buckingham Palace revealed on Monday (February 5) that the King had been diagnosed with a form of cancer - not prostate cancer - which was discovered while the King was being treated in hospital for an enlarged prostate.

Archbishop Stephen posted on X: “Please join me in praying for His Majesty the King and all the Royal Family.

“May he and all who suffer with cancer know the healing presence of God’s love.”

Later, while speaking with the BBC, he added: "Although we knew that His Majesty the King was being treated for a prostate condition, the news he has cancer is a bit of a shock for all of us.

"First of all, this is a private matter for him and his family. We don’t have all the details, nor should we.

"But he is our King, someone whom we know and care for, so my response today is one of prayerful concern and hopefulness that this cancer will be treatable and that it has been diagnosed early enough for that treatment to be speedy and effective.

"I am praying for him and for the Royal Family and with them for the many other people who are receiving similar treatment both for cancer and for other illnesses. Please join me.

"Moreover, it will be necessary that he has time for rest and recuperation. I hope the King will be hugely comforted by the prayers of Christian people and of other faith communities. Our message is clear: Get well soon, Your Majesty."


The King, 75, has already started a schedule of regular treatments and is said to be receiving expert medical care from a specialist team, but has been advised to postpone his public-facing duties.

The Palace declined to confirm the type of cancer.

Charles will carry on working behind the scenes on his red boxes – his state business and official papers, and returned from Sandringham to London on Monday to commence treatment as an out-patient.

He remains at home, most likely in Clarence House, his favoured residence in the capital.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted.

“Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.

“Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.

“The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure.

“He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

“His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

It is understood there are no current plans to appoint Counsellors of State – members of the royal family who step in when a monarch cannot fulfil their duties.

The King has rearranged or postponed any forthcoming public engagements, but it is understood to be too early to say when Charles will return to full public duties, although he is said to be looking forward to doing so as soon as possible.

A Palace spokesman added: “His Majesty would like to apologise to all those who may be disappointed or inconvenienced as a consequence.”