A week after leaving the hospital following treatment for an enlarged prostate, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer and will be postponing all future engagements.
Amid the disclosure, reports indicate that Prince Harry will be traveling to the U.K. to see his father in the coming days.
On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Paul Murray of Sky News Australia to discuss the news and what it means for the royal family as a whole.
King Charles’ Diagnosis
The palace revealed that the 75-year-old monarch was diagnosed with a form of cancer and had started treatment via an official statement on Monday:
During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.
His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.
The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.
His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.– Buckingham Palace, February 5, 2024
No further details were provided about the type of cancer or the prognosis. The king was seen publicly attending a church service in Sandringham on Sunday, where he waved to crowds. He is now back in London.
According to reports, the monarch shared his diagnosis with family members – including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – prior to the public announcement, and it is believed that Harry will make the trip from California to England in the near future.
Given the behavior of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they left the U.K. in 2020, Megyn questioned Harry’s motives. “I’m sorry, I wish I could believe that that was about supporting his father who is ill, but I don’t,” she said. “But the bigger picture is the king is sick with something serious.”
While Murray noted that this would be a time for the family to “pull themselves together and make it through,” he seconded Megyn’s suspicions. “[Harry] has been in and out of the U.K. multiple times when he was trying to sue newspapers and then turn around and drop those actions, and he didn’t see his father,” he explained. “Instead, it takes… cancer for him to drop all of his bullsh-t and to actually go and see his father.”
The extent and severity of King Charles’ condition remains unknown, but Megyn said it raises questions about whether he will be able to stay on the throne. “If you look at the scenarios that are in front of us here… I mean we could potentially have a situation where we have a king who’s only been on the throne for a year or two… and decides – and we hope decides; we hope nature doesn’t decide for him – that this is going to be [Prince William’s] game sooner than we thought,” she noted.
Murray said those rumors were percolating even before this disclosure from the Royal Family. “I think a lot of people had the sense that there was something pretty serious about the surgeries that he was going for,” he said. “We started to hear about the potentials.”
That is why, he explained, the succession plan is so clearly defined. “There’s a constant training process for who’s next, and the prince of Wales’ role inside the royal household is essentially to be right across all of the activities of the king for the moment when you ascend to the throne,” he shared. “And William obviously… has his entire life known that is his future, so it’s not a shock.”
Even so, any changes would come sooner than expected. “I think what is particularly worth noting here is that Queen Elizabeth’s reign was the longest of all time. It was the exception to the rule,” Murray explained. “The reality that we could be looking at a potential change in the throne either through the worst possible circumstances or health – meaning that it’s passed on to the son within five years, 10 years, or even… two or three years – is very real.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Murray by tuning in to episode 717 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.