British King Charles III suffered from cancer. In his Easter message this year, he reminds us how important it is to extend the hand of friendship to others – “especially in times of need.” The pre-recorded speech will be played in Charles’ absence at a Maundy Thursday service at Worcester Cathedral in central England, Buckingham Palace said.

To kick off the Easter celebrations, the monarch distributes special coins on Maundy Thursday. According to the palace, the centuries-old tradition commemorates the washing of the apostles’ feet by Jesus at the Last Supper. Charles, who has been king for a year and a half, had the coins last year Distributed in York each year.

The King will not be attending the annual start of the British Easter weekend because of his cancer and will be represented by his wife Camilla.

Jesus was an example of “how we should serve others and care for one another,” Charles said, according to the British news agency PA. “We need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us,” the message reads in excerpts. The audio message was recorded at Buckingham Palace. One photo showed Charles sitting at a desk in a blue suit, with a microphone and blooming flowers in front of him.

Buckingham Palace announced at the beginning of February that the 75-year-old monarch was suffering from cancer. The cancer was discovered in January when the king was hospitalized because of a benign enlargement of the prostate. According to Palast, it is not prostate cancer. Charles began therapy and is currently putting his public obligations on hold, but he is continuing to run state affairs. On Sunday he wants to take part in the Easter service in the church at Windsor Castle.

His daughter-in-law, Princess Kate, also made her cancer public on Friday. The 42-year-old wife of heir to the throne Prince William says she is currently undergoing chemotherapy after cancer was discovered following her abdominal surgery in mid-January.

Although King Charles did not mention Kate in his Easter message, royal observers are likely to interpret his words as a reference to the support he and his daughter-in-law have received regarding their health.