Sources say the King’s famously healthy and active lifestyle, which includes daily walks and a military-inspired exercise regime, has left him “perfectly placed to face his cancer battle”
King Charles waved to well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace today following his first treatment for cancer as sources say his famously healthy lifestyle will stand him in good stead.
The monarch and Queen Camilla, both seen for the first time since the palace announced the King’s diagnosis, smiled at crowds along the route from his Clarence House home to the royal HQ.
The royal couple were taken to a waiting helicopter to fly to Sandringham in Norfolk, where Charles will continue his recovery. The King capped off a whirlwind 24 hours with a 30 minute meeting with his estranged son Prince Harry, who this afternoon flew into London from California.
The Duke of Sussex dropped everything, leaving his wife Meghan and his children Archie and Lilibet behind at their home in Montecito, to be by his ailing father’s side. Harry’s relationship with his entire family has been beyond fractured since he quit royal life in 2020 and published his devastating memoir Spare.
He touched down at London’s Heathrow airport 1.15pm before being whisked through the exclusive Windsor Suite to a waiting car, arriving at Clarence House in a blacked out Range Rover at 2.45pm for his scheduled meeting with the King.
The same car was seen racing out of the royal residence gates at 3.40pm, although it was not clear if Harry was a passenger, or was staying behind to visit his cousin Princess Beatrice who lives at nearby St James’s Palace and whose mother, Sarah Ferguson is battling her own cancer battle.
Royal sources said Charles, 75, is “remaining positive” about his prognosis as friends say his strict health and daily military fitness regime will perfectly prepare him for potential gruelling treatment. The King’s decision to return to his Norfolk estate to rest is typical of his love of the outdoors and he would find solace walking in the grounds as he prepares for weeks of “specialist treatment” in London, those close to him suggested.
Buckingham Palace has refused to provide further updates on the King’s health and prognosis, but yesterday echoed the statement on Monday which read: “His Majesty is grateful to his medical team for their expert care and swift intervention, is wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”
Friends and former staff are also confident that his lifelong healthy lifestyle will give him the best possible platform for his cancer fight. Despite his relentless daily schedule, Charles always takes a break at around 1pm “not to eat but to get outside to walk”, his former press secretary Julian Payne has said. “The King dislikes being inside for too long and always has the windows wide open.”
One royal source said: “The King has led a healthy and active life which will leave him perfectly placed to face his cancer battle.” The King has also been an avid devotee of the 5BX routine (Five Basic Exercises), created by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The 11-minute workout designed to keep pilots fit wherever they found themselves – as the routine does not require equipment – is also popular with royalty, and Charles, who previously served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, is said to complete the workout twice a day.
It is understood he bookends his day with the routine, which includes simple moves like sit-ups and push-ups. At 75, he is said to be fit for his age and has seldom required hospital treatment. Talking to the BBC during the pandemic, of her then 71-year-old husband, Queen Camilla revealed: “He is probably the fittest man of his age I know. He’ll walk and walk and walk. He’s like a mountain goat, he leaves everybody miles behind.”
Alongside healthy breakfasts, the King is famed for often skipping lunch while avoiding eating meat, fish and dairy on certain days of the week. His lifelong love of the outdoors – including hiking and camping – has led Bear Grylls to describe him as “an adventurer at heart”.
Experts say that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important during cancer treatment while further evidence has shown that managing stress and fatigue caused by most cancers can be offset by being healthy. The King will be able to enjoy walking in the grounds of Sandringham, putting into practice countless studies that show those who are able to exercise during treatment may be able to deal better with side effects.
The Prime Minister also said he was happy the King’s diagnosis was “caught early” as he wished him a full recovery. However, Downing Street later suggested Rishi Sunak was referring to the fact that the palace had noted the swift intervention of his medical team.
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