The future King of England, Prince William, addressed the cancer diagnosis of his father, King Charles, while speaking at the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner on Wednesday, February 7. “Good evening, everyone,” he began the speech, while wearing a traditional tuxedo. “Thank you all for being here tonight. And thank you to all those whose hard work has made this evening possible.”
He then touched on his father’s diagnosis of cancer, which hit the news cycle on February 5, following the king’s prostate surgery, and his wife Kate Middleton‘s recent abdominal surgery. “I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days,” he said. “It means a great deal to us all.” To keep the topic from going too somber, Prince William added some levity to the speech. “It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather ‘medical’ focus,” he joked. “So I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!”
Among the distinguished guests at Wednesday’s event was Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise, 61, who happily smiled and chatted with the prince in a series of photos from the event, held at a prestigious hotel in London.
News of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis was released on Monday, when Buckingham Palace broke the somber news with a public statement. “During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted,” the statement, which was shared to the royal family’s social media account, read in part. “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer. His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”
While sharing that the king “remains wholly positive about his treatment,” the statement concluded with an explanation for King Charles’ decision to share the news. “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,” it read.