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King Charles III will return to public duties next week

<i>Hollie Adams/POOL/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>King Charles III smiles as he leaves St. George's Chapel in Windsor on Easter  morning.
Hollie Adams/POOL/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
King Charles III smiles as he leaves St. George's Chapel in Windsor on Easter morning.

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

London (CNN) — Britain’s King Charles III will resume public duties next week following “a period of treatment and recuperation,” Buckingham Palace announced Friday, two months after revealing that he was being treated for cancer.

The 75-year-old monarch will be joined by his wife, Queen Camilla, for a visit to a cancer treatment center on Tuesday “where they will meet medical specialists and patients,” according to a palace statement.

It is understood that the facility is not the same treatment center that has been directly involved in the King’s medical care.

It will be the first of several engagements the King is expected to carry out in the weeks ahead. The palace also announced that the British sovereign would host Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako for a state visit in June.

“As the first anniversary of the Coronation approaches, Their Majesties remain deeply grateful for the many kindnesses and good wishes they have received from around the world throughout the joys and challenges of the past year,” the palace statement concluded.

A royal source said there were no plans to share any further details specific to the monarch’s condition or treatment plan.

However, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson added that “His Majesty is greatly encouraged to be resuming some public-facing duties and very grateful to his medical team for their continued care and expertise.”

Friday’s announcement was accompanied by a new portrait of the King and Queen taken to mark one year since the couple were crowned at Westminster Abbey in London last May.

The picture was taken by Millie Pilkington, one of the UK’s most respected portrait photographers, within the gardens of Buckingham Palace on April 10, the morning after the pair’s 19th wedding anniversary. Camilla, 76, is dressed in an indigo day dress with velvet detail by couturier Fiona Clare.

The palace spokesperson said the King will continue treatment but that doctors were “sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far” to let him resume some public-facing duties.

The spokesperson said it was “too early to say” how much longer the King’s treatment would continue but his medical team “remain positive” regarding his ongoing recovery. They added that upcoming events in his diary will be adapted where necessary to minimize any risks to his recuperation.

The palace did not specify how many engagements were being added to the King’s diary or whether he would be able to attend his birthday parade in London or the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations in Normandy in June.

Instead, the spokesperson said “planning continues for ways in which Their Majesties may attend such Summer and Autumn engagements, though nothing can be confirmed or guaranteed at this stage.”

Forthcoming public engagements will continue to be announced closer to the time and in consultation with the King’s doctors. But the palace spokesperson did clarify that Charles was not expected to carry out a full summer program.

The royal source also told CNN that Charles would be able to meet with people indoors and outdoors but that each engagement would be carefully managed to minimize any risks to the King’s recovery.

Charles’ last public appearance was on Easter Sunday when he went to church in Windsor with several family members. He delighted waiting crowds by making an unexpected walkabout and heading over to them after leaving St. George’s Chapel. He stopped to chat to well-wishers and shake hands with members of the public.

Throughout his treatment, the King has continued to carry out his constitutional duties, receiving his daily red boxes and paperwork. This week he gave royal assent to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Charles’ rubberstamping of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, which was approved earlier this week, was announced in the House of Lords on Thursday.

He has also continued to hold private meetings, most recently holding an audience with Adm. Benjamin Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, on April 16.

Charles announced his cancer diagnosis and that he would step back from public-facing duties while undergoing treatment in early February. Catherine, Princess of Wales revealed her own cancer battle last month, in a second blow to the British royal family.

She has not been seen on official public duties since Christmas Day but on Tuesday, the Waleses continued the tradition of sharing a photo to mark their children’s birthdays when a photo taken by Kate was uploaded to their social media accounts for Prince Louis’ sixth birthday.

In the King’s absence, Prince William and Queen Camilla have been holding down the fort for public outings, leading the family with the support of Princess Anne, Prince Edward and other royals.

On Thursday, the Prince of Wales made a trip to the West Midlands, visiting a number of projects supporting mental health and wellbeing.

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