Trudeau and Simon wish King Charles a speedy recovery from cancer

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday joined a chorus of supporters from Canada and around the world to wish King Charles a speedy recovery after Buckingham Palace revealed the monarch had been diagnosed with cancer.

Trudeau said that after hearing the news, he is thinking about the King, as are many others.

“I, like Canadians across the country and people around the world, am thinking of His Majesty King Charles III as he undergoes cancer treatment,” Trudeau said on social media.

“We send him our best wishes and hope for a quick and complete recovery.”

Governor General Mary Simon said she, like all Canadians, is sending good wishes to the king as he begins his treatment. In a statement, Simon praised the monarch for leading by example by choosing to share her diagnosis.

“We hope that seeing Her Majesty acknowledge cancer so openly and publicly will encourage and motivate those who are struggling with their own treatment,” he wrote. “We admire the King’s strength and determination in facing this disease.”

The palace did not release additional details, except to say that the cancer is not related to the King’s recent treatment for a benign prostate condition.

King Charles has begun cancer treatment and will postpone some of his public duties, the palace said, although he said he will continue to deal with routine paperwork and affairs of state. Furthermore, the 75-year-old will not renounce his constitutional duties as head of state.

News of the diagnosis comes as his daughter-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales, recovers from abdominal surgery for which she was hospitalized for about two weeks.

@JustinTrudeau, Simon sends wishes for a speedy recovery following King Charles’ #cancer diagnosis. #CDNPoli #ReyCarlosIII

The palace says the king is being treated as an outpatient. He remains “entirely positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duties as soon as possible,” the statement read.

Nathan Tidridge, vice-president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, said King Charles’ diagnosis will not have an impact on the “machinery of state” in Canada, even if a more complete break with duties is needed, because the Governor general performs most of the functions of the monarch in this country.

However, he said other activities could be affected, including meetings between the King and indigenous groups or with Canadian charities in which he has shown great interest. Discussions about an eventual royal tour of Canada could also be delayed, he said.

“Since the beginning of the reign, (King Charles) has been very hands-on and hit the ground running,” Tidridge said. “So I guess with this diagnosis he would be pretty frustrated because he has a pretty solid schedule and he’s a workaholic, so anything that prevents that is going to be frustrating.”

In a social media post, Ralph Goodale, Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, called the news “concerning” and wished the King a “speedy and full recovery.”

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Edith Dumont, like Simon, praised the monarch for publicly sharing his diagnosis and said doing so helps “raise awareness about the impact cancer can have on people’s lives.”

Manitoba’s lieutenant governor called the public revelation “admirable.”

“Their approach can also serve to inspire others to seek necessary medical care, while offering a sense of comfort and camaraderie to those already receiving care,” said Anita Neville.

Tidridge said the decision to share his diagnosis was not a surprise because King Charles has taken a more transparent approach than previous generations of royals and because his absence from duties would naturally raise questions.

While there were no details about the type of cancer or its severity, Tidridge said he hopes the King will offer more information if his health requires it. But Tidridge said that, like others, he hopes for a speedy recovery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2024.

By Morgan Lowrie in Montreal with files from The Associated Press.

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