With charm and apparently in a good mood, King Charles showed himself to his subjects at Easter for the first time since it became known that he had cancer. The appearance at the Easter service in Windsor is reportedly not the starting point for a permanent return to normality, but according to royal experts it is seen as an important milestone for the British royal family, which has recently been plagued by illness. As expected, Princess Kate (42), who also has cancer, was not there.

The 75-year-old monarch and his wife Queen Camilla, 76, smiled and waved as they entered St. George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday morning. When someone from a group of onlookers shouted “Happy Easter!” shouted, the king replied: “You too!”

Charles wore a dark coat and a blue tie with small ship motifs. Camilla arrived in an emerald green coat dress with a cape and matching hat. The couple had traveled the short distance from their rooms in the castle to the chapel in the forecourt in a limousine.

Cheers and applause for the king

“I have to be seen so that people believe in me” (in the original: I have to be seen to be believed) Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is said to have once said. True to this motto, after the service, Charles and Camilla once again entered the courtyard of the castle, where they were greeted with cheers and applause. The two shook hands with some onlookers and chatted with people before getting back into the car.

The appearance was seen as a significant sign by royal family experts. So far, Charles has only been seen in public at a certain distance or has received individual guests or at most small groups behind closed doors.

According to the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, Joe Little, the fact that he was now shown up close for the first time was a “very welcome milestone on the road to recovery,” as he told the British news agency PA. After reports of a crisis and instability in the royal family, people’s confidence that everything is OK should now be increased, Little added.

William and Kate are not there

Heir to the throne Prince William (41) and his wife Princess Kate (42) were not at the Easter service. Kate recently announced to the public in a very personal video message that she had been diagnosed with cancer after major abdominal surgery in January. She has now started preventive chemotherapy. Kate asked that her privacy and that of her family be respected.

According to reports, the couple had retreated to the Anmer Hall country estate in the eastern English county of Norfolk with their children – Prince George (10), Princess Charlotte (8) and Prince Louis (5) – over the holidays. There had previously been wild speculation on social media about Kate’s health.

Criticism over Prince Andrew’s participation

Other royals such as Charles’ sister Princess Anne (73) and her husband Timothy Laurence (69) as well as Prince Edward (60) and his wife Duchess Sophie (59) also came to the Easter service. Also there were Prince Andrew (64), who had fallen into disrepute because of his involvement in the Epstein abuse scandal, and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson (64), who also made her cancer diagnosis public last year.

Andrew’s presence drew criticism. “As many have suspected, Andrew’s withdrawal from many parts of public life was all about public relations, not standards of accountability,” said the head of the anti-monarchy organization Republic, Graham Smith, according to a statement.

Andrew resigned from his public duties for the royal family in 2019 after allegations were made against him. Later he also had to renounce his military ranks and the address Royal Highness. Although he always denied any wrongdoing, in 2022 he agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with the American Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of abusing her as a minor.