King Charles returns to public and smiles: “I'm fine.” Visit to a hospital to restart after cancer


By John

A half-service return to the scene of public engagements which does not resolve all the unknowns, but certainly gives the United Kingdom a sigh of relief. King Charles III rewinds the film of this cursed start of the year for the British monarchy and returns to the audience of his subjects for the first official meeting among the people for over three months, after the cancer diagnosis revealed urbi et orbi in February and the results “very encouraging” (in the words of his doctors) of a first phase of therapy which is still underway.

A return full of smiles and human contact for the 75-year-old monarch, flanked by his inseparable Queen Camilla, the pillar of his life. But also a highly symbolic moment, given the destination chosen for the debut visit of this sort of new beginning, in compliance with what was announced by Buckingham Palace on Friday: the University College London Hospital and the adjoining Macmillan Cancer Centre, an oncology institute of excellence on the island where the royal couple stopped to speak intently with doctors, nurses and above all patients, not without having His Majesty's voice relaunch a heartfelt message in favor of prevention, checks, “early” treatments » as “crucial” weapons to deal with a disease that makes no distinction between crowned and non-crowned heads.

Already welcomed outside the hospital by fans and onlookers, and then in the wards by bouquets of flowers and good wishes, Carlo and Camilla tried in every way to give an encouraging image, if not exactly business as usual.

“You are not alone”, some of those present let the monarch know, in a scenario in which at times the eldest son of Elizabeth II – now the new patron of Cancer Research UK – seemed to exchange intimate confessions, even some unusual physical contact made of prolonged handshakes with the sick: almost like a patient among patients.

“I'm fine,” he said to one of them, Asha Miller, undergoing chemotherapy, responding to the affectionate “how are you feeling?” that the woman had addressed to him according to what she herself later told journalists. While various witnesses reported seeing an emotional king, but “full of energy”.

Words that seal the glimmers of optimism fueled in recent hours by the country's political leaders as well as by various mainstream media commentators after the alarmist conjectures of certain US tabloid press.

Even if in the background there remain the elements of prudence suggested by the palace communiqués themselves, which for the next few months are limited for now to evoking a partial resumption of the public activity of dynastic representation of the sovereign: “carefully calibrated” and subject to confirmation by formalize from time to time in relation to key events such as the traditional June Trooping the Color parade, the agenda of the state visit to London of the imperial couple of Japan, or that of a two-week trip to Australia set approximately for October.

From next week, meanwhile, what will steal the show at Windsor will be the fleeting return to his homeland of rebel Prince Harry, who will arrive by May 8th from American self-exile to take part in the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games, sports games reserved for the military amputees whom he has sponsored since its foundation.

Although it is not known whether on this occasion there will be space for a new face-to-face meeting between father and son, after the sudden visit made by the Duke of Sussex to the parent in February following the news of the diagnosis of a cancer whose nature remains unspecified for now.

A trip in which the cadet prince – as confirmed by one of his spokespersons – will not be accompanied by Meghan, nor by his children Archie and Lilibet, except to reunite with his wife on a subsequent mission to Nigeria, a Commonwealth country.

And even less does it seem to be a prelude to a thaw with his older brother William. All this while any deadline for a potential public return of the 42-year-old Princess of Wales, Kate, wife of the heir to the throne, who was also affected by an unspecified type of cancer made known in the touching video to the nation of March, two months after a delicate abdominal operation.

And fresh from a very private, strictly family celebration of his 13th wedding anniversary: ​​the most difficult, in a royal fairy tale that has become a painful reality.