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King Charles III stepped out to meet and greet members of the public for the first time on Sunday since his cancer diagnosis, celebrating Easter with a “poignant gesture,” a royal expert told Regalrumination.com.

Being out among the people is what Charles considers to be one of his key duties, Majesty magazine editor-in-chief and royal biographer Ingrid Seward told Regalrumination.com after the royal’s Easter appearance.

“King Charles enjoys integrating with people wherever they are from,” she said. “His ‘meet and greet’ is part of his definition of being a monarch.”

Seward also noted the significance of Charles’s timing for his walkabout, not only that it came during a time when the royals were facing a health crisis but also that it came on the day of an important religious festival.

She said, “Being ‘Defender of the Faith,’ this would be especially poignant on Easter Sunday.”

Regalrumination.com reached out to Buckingham Palace via email for comment.

King Charles III Easter Sunday
King Charles III at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor on March 31 (Easter Sunday). The king made a surprise walkabout to greet well-wishers.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

On February 5, Buckingham Palace announced that following a medical procedure to treat an enlarged prostate, tests revealed that Charles had cancer and would undergo a course of treatment.

During this treatment, the king scaled back all of his major public appearances, restricting his work to desk duties and small meetings to limit his exposure to large crowds, which bring with them the risk of infection.

In recent weeks, the king has slowly been undertaking more public-facing work, meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and diplomats and holding a community and interfaith roundtable meeting at Buckingham Palace.

With Charles effectively out of the public eye while his treatment has been ongoing, the monarchy has experienced another major health development, causing the Princess of Wales to cancel her schedule of work.

In January, Kate underwent major abdominal surgery and was expected to take two months to recover. However, though doctors first thought her condition was non-cancerous, post-surgery tests found cancer present, resulting in the royal requiring a course of “preventative chemotherapy.”

With Kate in need of rest and support during her illness, Prince William has also dramatically reduced his workload to be with her and the couple’s three children.

King Charles III Easter Sunday Walkabout
King Charles III greets well-wishers with Queen Camilla on Easter Sunday. The king made his first royal walkabout since his cancer diagnosis.

Hollie Adams – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Where this has left the monarchy has been the subject of increased discussion in recent weeks. Queen Camilla, 76, has stepped up her public appearances, representing the king at a number of high-profile events alongside her previously committed diary of charity visits and promotions.

Charles’ sister, Princess Anne, along with the Dukes and Duchesses of Edinburgh and Gloucester, have also picked up the remaining slack.

King Charles returned to lead his family into the annual Easter Sunday service at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on March 31.

The event is traditionally attended by the monarch and close family members. In 2022, it was attended by not only the working royals but also William and Kate’s children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

Though the Waleses were absent this year, Charles’ confirmed appearance drew crowds to the chapel’s doors. They were seen cheering as he arrived with the queen and again when they exited the service.

After leaving the chapel, Charles surprised the crowd and the waiting press by walking over to them to perform an unannounced royal walkabout, his first since his cancer diagnosis.

The king shook hands and spoke with the well-wishers, closely followed by Camilla.

Though no further official statement about the king’s health has been made since his cancer announcement, Charles’ increased public presence is a positive sign for the royal family, who face a busy summer calendar of events and engagements.

William Brown is Regalrumination.com‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @regalrumination

and read his stories on Regalrumination.com‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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