King Charles speaks of his ‘great sadness’ in bittersweet Easter message

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As he prepares for his first major event since announcing his cancer diagnosis in February, King Charles has shared an inspiring message.

His Majesty’s prerecorded audio message – which was broadcast at a Royal Maundy service in Worcester Cathedral on Thursday – stressed the importance of extending “the hand of friendship” to those in need and called on the nation to “serve and care for each other.”

“It is for me a great sadness that I cannot be with you all today,” Charles’ message, which was recorded in mid-March, began. “The Maundy service has a very special place in my heart.”

“It has its origin in the life of Our Lord who knelt before his disciples and, to their great surprise, washed their travel-weary feet. And, as we have just heard, in doing so he deliberately gave to them, and to us all, an example of how we should serve and care for each other,” the king continued.

“In this country we are blessed by all the different services that exist for our welfare. But over and above these organisations and their selfless staff, we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need,” he added.

Queen Camilla attended Thursday’s service in his place.

Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace confirmed to Fox News Digital that His Majesty, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, and Camilla will be attending the Easter Mattins Service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this Sunday.

While other members of the royal family are expected to attend, Prince William, Kate Middleton – who announced her own cancer diagnosis last week – and their children will not be in attendance, People reported.

A little over one month after King Charles made his announcement, the Princess of Wales revealed she is undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

“The Princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team,” a Kensington Palace spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery.”

Ahead of Middleton’s announcement, the princess and king shared a “private lunch,” according to People.

The king “has always had a very good bond with her,” author Sally Bedell Smith, who penned “George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Saved the Monarchy,” told the outlet. “She’s interested in artistic things, and she appreciates art and culture, so [she] has an affinity with the king over that.”

“Obviously, they have this in common and can only bring them closer,” she added. “It is a source of reassurance and consolation for both of them.”

This story originally appeared on Fox News and is republished here with permission.

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth II