Cancer diagnoses in the British royal family over the years: 'The great equalizer'

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Cancer diagnoses in the British royal family over the years: ‘The great equalizer’



King Charles III, 75, has received a cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement on Monday.

The cancer was discovered when the king underwent a routine procedure on Jan. 17 to treat an enlarged prostate.

The palace as of now has not confirmed the type or stage of cancer, saying only that it is not prostate cancer. The king began treatments on Monday.

Other British royals have fought their own cancer battles over the years.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York: Breast and skin cancer

Most recently, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, announced on Jan. 21 that she was diagnosed with skin cancer just a month after receiving breast cancer treatments.

“I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery,” Ferguson, who is 64, wrote in an Instagram post. 

“It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was.”

Sarah Ferguson announced on Jan. 21 that she was diagnosed with skin cancer. Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II: Bone marrow cancer

Queen Elizabeth II battled myeloma, a painful bone marrow cancer, during the last years of her life, according to “Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait,” an upcoming biography by Gyles Brandreth.

“I had heard that the Queen had a form of myeloma — bone marrow cancer — which would explain her tiredness and weight loss and those ‘mobility issues’ we were often told about during the last year or so of her life,” Brandreth wrote in the book.

Hilary Fordwich, a royal expert based in Maryland, noted that Queen Elizabeth loved to ride horses and did so up to 93 years of age.

“With her bone marrow cancer, she began to suffer mobility issues, which curtailed her riding,” Fordwich told Fox News Digital.

The queen died in Sept. 2022 at the age of 96.

Queen Elizabeth battled bone marrow cancer during the last years of her life. ZUMAPRESS.com

Duke of Windsor: Throat cancer

The Duke of Windsor, who served as King Edward VIII for only a year before abdicating the throne in December 1936 in order to marry the divorcee Wallis Simpson, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1971.

The Duke, a longtime smoker, reportedly received cobalt therapy after his diagnosis.

He died in Paris, France, on May 28, 1972, at the age of 77.

The Duke of Windsor died of throat cancer in 1972. Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth I (Queen Mother): Colon and breast cancer

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from Dec. 11, 1936 until Feb. 6, 1952.

In 1966, Elizabeth was diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery to remove a tumor, as biographer William Shawcross wrote in “The Queen Mother: The Official Biography.”

In 1984, the queen received a breast cancer diagnosis and had a lumpectomy.

She went on to live a long life, dying on March 30, 2002, at 101 years old.

Queen Elizabeth I with grandson Prince Charles in 1950. Getty Images

King George VI: Lung cancer

King George VI, who took over the throne on Dec. 11, 1936 until his death, was diagnosed with lung cancer in Sept. 1951.

“He was a chain smoker and had been advised by his doctors to smoke to help ‘smooth his lungs’ given his stutter,” said Fordwich.

The longtime smoker underwent surgery to remove his left lung, according to The Independent.

After an initial period of recovery, the king’s health declined and he succumbed to the disease on Feb. 6, 1952, at 56 years old.

King Edward VII: Basal cell carcinoma

King Edward VII, who reigned from Jan. 22, 1901 until his death in 1910, was diagnosed with basal-cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, in 1907.

His cancer, which was found on the skin next to his nose, was reportedly cured with radium.

After suffering additional health issues later in life, Edward died at 68 years of age on May 6, 1910, after a series of heart attacks.

Princess Victoria: Breast cancer

The daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Princess Victoria, who was born on Nov. 21, 1840, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1898.

The mother of eight died of the disease on Aug. 5, 1901, at the age of 60.

“There is no family left untouched by cancer,” said Dr. Nathan Goodyear, the medical director at Brio Medical, a holistic, integrative cancer healing center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Cancer knows no preferences,” he told Fox News Digital. “Whether left or right, conservative or liberal, upper class or lower class, cancer shows no leaning.”

Likewise, cancer knows no difference between those of royal descent and those of non-royal descent, he added.

“Despite access to the most innovative medical care and brightest minds in the world, royal families still encounter cancer,” Goodyear said. 

“When it comes to demographics, cancer is the great equalizer.”

“Yet, whether royal or non-royal, look up, pray and take heart — because hope is present, and when hope is present, healing is possible.”

Earlier this week, Her Majesty the Queen opened Maggie’s Royal Free, a new cancer support center at Royal Free Hospital in London, as announced on the royal family’s website. 

Maggie’s provides free care and support for cancer patients, their friends and families in the U.K. and online.



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