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King Charles Says He Has Been 'Reduced to Tears' Over Response to His Cancer Diagnosis in Vulnerable Moment

The King held his first in-person meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after working behind the scenes in recent weeks since sharing his cancer diagnosis

<p>The Royal Family/ X</p> Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles meet at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 21, 2024

The Royal Family/ X

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles meet at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 21, 2024

King Charles is back on royal duty!

The King, 75, who is being treated for cancer, met with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday afternoon at Buckingham Palace. His face-to-face audience was the first since the monarch revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Despite his cancer, which was detected when he was being treated for a benign enlarged prostate, King Charles has been continuing with his affairs of state — but largely behind the scenes.

Two weeks ago, the King and Sunak exchanged a phone call, which was more of a catch-up than the formal audience that the monarch and prime minister traditionally hold weekly.

On Wednesday, that changed with the release of photographs and video footage of King Charles' meeting with Sunak.

Sunak said it was "wonderful" to see King Charles looking so well, to which the monarch quipped, "It's all done with mirrors."

The prime minister then said, "Well, we're all behind you. The country's behind you."

The King said, "I've had so many wonderful messages and cards. It's reduced me to tears most of the time."

<p>JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty</p> Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles meet at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 21, 2024

JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles meet at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 21, 2024

Related: A Complete Timeline of King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The prime minister and monarch also talked about how the King's cancer news has put a spotlight on many vital cancer charities.

"I hear there's been a lot more attention and interest on those main, wonderful cancer charities, many of which I've been patron for years," the King said with a laugh.

"They do incredible work up and down the country," Sunak replied.

"They do, they do," the King agreed.

The meeting followed a gathering of King Charles' Privy Council earlier in the afternoon.

It was Sunak who said soon after King Charles' diagnosis that the cancer had been "caught early."

"Obviously, like everyone else, shocked and sad, and just all our thoughts are with him and his family. Thankfully, this has been caught early,” Sunak told BBC Radio Five Live on Feb. 6, adding that he hopes the King "gets the treatment that he needs and makes a full recovery."

While King Charles has canceled most in-person duties and engagements, the monarch has been determined to be seen when possible as he copes with the course of treatment. As in recent weeks, he was joined by his wife, Queen Camilla, 76, for church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Sunday.

King Charles has largely been staying on the royal family's Sandringham estate since the palace revealed on Feb. 5 that he had been diagnosed with cancer. However, he has traveled to London for treatment as well as meetings with palace staff.

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> King Charles on a visit to church at Sandringham on Feb. 4, 2024

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

King Charles on a visit to church at Sandringham on Feb. 4, 2024

Last week, Prince Harry, 39, spoke out about his father's health news for the time first with Good Morning America's Will Reeve. When asked how he first learned about his father's cancer diagnosis, the Duke of Sussex replied, "I spoke to him. I jumped on a plane and went to go see him as soon as I could."

"Look, I love my family. The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that," Prince Harry added.

When asked about his outlook on the state of his father's health, he said, "That stays between me and him."

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On Tuesday, Queen Camilla was back in London hosting an event to highlight the work of medical detection dogs at her and King Charles' London home, Clarence House.

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