King Charles enjoys jokes in cards of support

King get well cards
Image caption,The King was amused by a card featuring a dog having to wear a protective cone

By Sean Coughlan

Royal correspondent

King Charles has been cheered up by some of the 7,000 cards of support sent to him during his cancer treatment, including those taking a humorous view.

They included a card with a picture of a dog wearing a protective cone saying: “At least you don’t have to wear a cone!”

Other messages shared people’s own experiences of cancer and wished the King a “speedy recovery”.

The King has described being “reduced to tears” by the cards sent to him.

But the latest photos and video on social media show him smiling at cards that were determined to look on the bright side.


According to palace aides, despite the health concerns there has been “frequent laughter”, with the dog particularly amusing the King.

The senders are not being named, but the firm that made the card, Pigment, told the BBC it was one of their best-sellers which had been customised with the King’s name – and they had “hoped it made the King smile”.

King Charles holding a get-well cards
Image caption,Some of the get-well cards were handmade

A selection of the messages of support are being put into the red boxes which hold the King’s daily paperwork.

“I wanted to tell you I am thinking of you as you face your own diagnosis and treatment and send prayers and every good wish for a speedy recovery,” wrote one well-wisher.

“Chin up, chest out, remain positive and don’t let it get you down. Trust me, it works, but the main thing is family,” said another.

A number of the messages are from people who are facing up to their own worries about cancer.

Rebecca Stead from Macmillan Cancer Support told BBC News: “Hearing the news that you have cancer is a huge moment in anyone’s life and there is no right or wrong way to respond.

“Going through waves of different emotions is completely normal. We do know, however, that many people will experience uncertainty or worry.”

This could be about practical matters such as paying the mortgage or being confused by the treatment being given, she says, urging people to get advice.

The King’s openness about having cancer has also been praised as helping remove taboos around the disease.

According to Macmillan’s, the King’s public acknowledgement of his cancer prompted a surge in people seeking information.

Macmillan’s online information pages had 50,000 hits on the day of the King’s diagnosis being announced, up 40% on usual.

But figures from the BBC have shown that for NHS patients in England in 2023 cancer waiting times were the worst on record.

The King has stepped back from public events but has continued with the work of head of state, including the regular meetings with the prime minister.

King and Sunak
Image caption,The King told the PM he had been very moved by the messages of support

The latest pictures released by Buckingham Palace were taken on Wednesday ahead of meeting Rishi Sunak.

When the prime minister said how well the King looked, he deflected it with a joke, saying: “It’s all done by mirrors.”

Humour has often been deployed by the King, who was a longstanding fan of The Goons and and took part in comedy shows at university. A student contemporary had said: “I think actually he’s very shy and it’s a lot easier when you get people laughing.”

But in his current circumstances, the King was said to have been moved by handmade cards from children, including the message: “Never give up. Be brave. Don’t push your limits. Get well soon.”

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