“Annus horribilis” (year of horror) – that’s what Queen Elizabeth II called the year 1992, when the marriages of three of her four children fell apart and Windsor Castle burned. With King Charles III’s cancer diagnoses. (75) and his daughter-in-law Kate (42) this year the term made the rounds again. But after twelve weeks of cancer treatment there is good news: the king will return to public life after positive results.

The treatment is ongoing, but his doctors are “sufficiently satisfied with the progress made so that the king can now resume a number of public duties,” Buckingham Palace said. Accordingly, the 75-year-old monarch wants to visit a cancer clinic with his wife Queen Camilla (76) next Tuesday and meet with doctors and patients there. The Japanese imperial couple are scheduled to visit at the end of June and will be received by Charles and Camilla at Buckingham Palace.

Treatment progress so far “very encouraging”

Charles is “extremely encouraged to return to some public duties and very grateful to his medical team for their continued care and expertise,” a palace spokesman said. It is unclear how long the treatment will have to be continued, but the progress so far is “very encouraging” and the doctors are positive.

The announcement is likely to bring relief to many Brits. “2024 will certainly be remembered as a difficult year for the Royal Family. But I doubt that it will be another “annus horribilis,” said constitutional expert Craig Prescott from Royal Holloway University of London in an interview with dpa. Perhaps with the king’s return to public life, people will soon no longer think about how difficult things started. After all, plans for a trip to Australia by the royal couple this year are still being adhered to.

However, the monarch will not return completely to normality for the time being. It is not yet clear whether Charles will take part in important occasions such as his Trooping the Color birthday parade or the commemoration of the Allied landings in Normandy 80 years ago, the palace said. There will be no full summer program, the spokesman said. Any public appearance will be announced at short notice and is subject to medical advice.

Kate has completely withdrawn from the public eye

Charles’ cancer was discovered during routine prostate surgery. It is not known what form of cancer this is. But it shouldn’t be prostate cancer. The king then withdrew from the public eye, but still carried out duties behind the scenes, such as weekly audiences with the prime minister. He has been treated as an outpatient ever since.

His daughter-in-law, Princess Kate (42), also went public with a cancer diagnosis at the end of March. She started preventive chemotherapy, she said in a very personal video message. She was also diagnosed after an operation that was initially not suspected to be cancerous. However, it was a major operation in the abdominal cavity, about which nothing else is known.

Gap among the royals the size of Harry and Meghan

Unlike the king, Kate has completely withdrawn from her duties as a royal. When she will return is uncertain. Her husband, heir to the throne Prince William (41), also stayed away from the public for weeks to support his family. He didn’t show up again until mid-April.

In the eyes of constitutional expert Prescott, this is a real problem for the royals. Surveys have shown that support for the monarchy among younger age groups is already dwindling. Without William and Kate, the average age of the royals would be significantly higher. “In that sense, there is a gap in the inner circle of the royal family and this gap is the size of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” said Prescott about Prince Harry (39) and Duchess Meghan (42).

King Charles’ younger son and his wife have broken away from the royals for a good four years and now live in the US state of California. The relationship with the other royals is considered to be broken. According to the constitutional expert, it will be some time before William and Kate’s children can fill this gap. Prince George is ten, Princess Charlotte is eight and Prince Louis is six.