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King Charles Is a 'Fighter': 'He Will Come Through' Cancer Diagnosis, Says Source (Exclusive)

Sources tell PEOPLE that the King will tap into his positivity and resilience

<p>Samir Hussein - Handout/Getty</p> King Charles in September 2023

Samir Hussein - Handout/Getty

King Charles in September 2023

King Charles can take faith in his inner strength after being diagnosed with cancer and starting treatment.

“He’s a fighter and has an inner steel,” royal biographer Robert Hardman tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's issue. “He’s philosophical and stoical and has a deeper faith than people appreciate.”

Looking to the past, the author of The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy notes that King Charles, 75, faced a gunman — unbeknownst to him or his security, armed with blank bullets — in Sydney in 1994, along with bomb threats during his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.

Adds a source close to the royal household, “He is a positive person and has a really healthy attitude to looking after his body. Cancer treatment has come a long, long way. He will come through.”

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Reverend Canon Dr. Paul Williams attend Sunday service at St. Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham on Feb. 4.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Reverend Canon Dr. Paul Williams attend Sunday service at St. Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham on Feb. 4.

Related: King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis Caught Even Palace Insiders Off Guard: 'Shocked' (Exclusive)

On Feb. 5, the day after King Charles and Queen Camilla attended a morning service at St. Mary Magdalene Church near their country retreat in Sandringham and the royal family highlighted World Cancer Day on social media by posting photos from Queen Camilla’s visit to a new cancer support center, an announcement from Buckingham Palace shook the world: King Charles has cancer.

The revelation came in a 138-word statement that concluded, "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."

Although the statement offered few details, the palace did reveal that when the King underwent his prostate procedure on Jan. 26, a separate issue of concern was detected, and “subsequent diagnostic tests have revealed the presence of a form of cancer." (The type of cancer has not been disclosed in keeping with the palace's tight-lipped approach to medical conditions, but it is not prostate cancer, a spokesman confirmed.)

"In time we might know," says Hardman, "but for now, there is a feeling that they have been pretty open."

<p>HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images</p> Queen Camilla and King Charles leave Clarence House in London on Feb. 6.

HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Camilla and King Charles leave Clarence House in London on Feb. 6.

Related: King Charles Photographed for First Time Since Cancer News as He Returns to Sandringham on Poignant Date

The King has begun "regular treatments" and will postpone public duties, the palace statement added, noting that Charles "remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Although Prince William may undertake some duties on behalf of his father, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act on King Charles’ behalf.

“He wouldn’t want to put that pressure on William,” says the source. “He has always wanted to save his children from having that pressure too early and that will remain. Particularly as William has other priorities [with Kate Middleton, who is recovering from abdominal surgery.]”

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Prince William and King Charles during the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on November 12, 2023 in London.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince William and King Charles during the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on November 12, 2023 in London.

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King Charles will continue to receive his “red boxes,” the monarch’s daily delivery of official files, and process state documents during his treatment. It is also expected that the King will maintain his weekly audience with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with appropriate adjustments made if his doctors advise minimizing in-person contact.

“Yes, he’s going to step back from public duties for a considerable time, but there will be plenty of work for him — it just won’t necessarily be in a room with hundreds of people,” Hardman tells PEOPLE.

Adds the palace insider: “He will want to get on with the job.”

PEOPLE magazine, Feb. 19.
PEOPLE magazine, Feb. 19.

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Read the original article on People.