However, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act of the King's behalf
The palace revealed on Monday that the King, 75, is getting cancer treatment. The diagnosis came shortly after the monarch underwent a procedure to treat an enlarged prostate on Jan. 26.
King Charles stepped away from public duties amid his recovery from prostate surgery, and it's not known when he will return to royal engagements following his cancer diagnosis. PEOPLE understands he will continue to receive red boxes, the monarch's daily delivery of documents needing his attention, and process state documents during his treatment.
Prince William, 41, may also undertake some duties on behalf of his father in addition to his own diary of engagements, PEOPLE understands. However, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act on King Charles’ behalf. Counsellors of State are members of the royal family who can carry out constitutional duties for the monarch if he is abroad or unwell. The positions are currently held by Queen Camilla, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.
While heirs in other royal families around the world sometimes act as regents when the monarch is unwell or abroad, the case is different in the U.K. According to the House of Commons Library, regents are only instated permanently in Britain.
As previously announced, the Prince of Wales will return to royal work this week after taking time to care for his wife, Kate Middleton, who had abdominal surgery on Jan. 16 and returned home to recover last Monday. On Wednesday, he is set to host a morning investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and attend the annual fundraising gala for the London Air Ambulance later in the day.
PEOPLE understands that other working members of the royal family will also continue with public duties during this time. This means that the public might see more of Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh.
However, Princess Kate, 42, will be out of the public eye for a few months.
“Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties after Easter,” Kensington Palace said in announcing that she had had surgery on Jan. 17.
The monarch's cancer news comes one week after he left the London Clinic following a three-day stay after undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate. However, he does not have prostate cancer.
"During The King's recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday.
"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," it continued.
"The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible," the statement added. "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."
King Charles returned to London from Sandringham on Monday to commence treatment as an out-patient.
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PEOPLE understands that the sovereign told his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, about the diagnosis himself. A source says William is in regular contact with his father while Harry, 39, who relocated to California with his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2020, is expected to travel to the U.K. in the coming days.
King Charles was last seen attending church on Sunday at St. Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham with Queen Camilla. It marked the monarch's first outing since leaving the hospital on Jan. 29, where he gave a wave to well-wishers on his way out of the private clinic.
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