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King Charles' three priorities and why Prince Harry's feud may be his unwanted legacy | Real | News

King Charles celebrates one year since his coronation (Image: Getty)

No one in history waited longer to ascend the throne than king charlesand it must not have been easy to follow someone so loved and respected around the world.

And then, just when he was finding his place and showing his priorities as King, Carlos received the news that no one ever wants to hear: you have cancer.

His shocking diagnosis earlier in the year attempted to derail his reign and the causes he had tried to champion: the environment, food waste and the importance of communities.

But the hard-working royal, known for his workaholic nature and love of meeting the public, is determined to get back to business and fight what he once called this “bestial disease.”

This has become increasingly important to him after his beloved daughter-in-law's diagnosis shortly after his own.

Now, Charles has focused on raising awareness about cancer and showing support for his fellow cancer sufferers.

On Tuesday, the King marked his return to public duties by visiting a cancer hospital, where he repeatedly affirmed the importance of early detection. He sat with patients and listened to their own experiences with cancer, in a touching show of support for the Princess of Wales.

Charles decided to celebrate his first engagement since his own diagnosis in this way to show the nation that he is determined to “do his bit” and spread awareness about the disease.

For decades, the King has been specifically interested in cancer treatment and now aims to bring his campaigning zeal to highlight the battle to find a cure.

Her brave decision to go public with her diagnosis has already had a phenomenal effect.

Searches for NHS advice on the disease increased by 51 per cent in the 24 hours after the cancer announcement in February, while Macmillan also saw a 42 per cent rise in visits to its website.

King Charles holds the hand of a patient.

King Charles spoke to cancer patients during a hospital visit last week. (Image: Getty)

The charity has also seen a 75 per cent increase in requests to volunteer for the charity compared to the same period in 2023.

Veteran royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said the so-called King Charles effect shows the soft power a monarch can have.

“It is clear that he has chosen to raise awareness about health problems,” he said. “We saw that with his prostate condition and also with cancer. “This is an excellent example of how the monarchy can use its unique profile for charitable purposes.”

The King is expected to make more commitments this year to show his support for cancer patients and continue to highlight the disease.

But the other themes that have dominated Charles's reign will continue to feature prominently in his future visits and speeches.

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His coronation highlighted two emerging priorities for the King, as he sought to use the occasion of his coronation to focus on volunteering and food poverty by launching the Big Help Out and Coronation Food Project.

The first urged Brits to volunteer and support communities, while the second focused on tackling food waste and insecurity.

His determination to pursue these causes became increasingly evident in the following months.

On his 75th birthday in November, Charles marked the occasion by expanding the Coronation Food Project. Instead of toasting the milestone at home, the King and Queen headed to a food distribution center in Oxfordshire to kick-start the initiative, which aims to support charities feeding the nation with unwanted food.

He also wrote an article for The Big Issue about the project, where he shared his concern about “cost of living “pressures” existing at a time when tons of food is wasted. The King wrote of his desire to create a “lasting legacy to help others,” a strong indication that the monarch is determined to make food waste an important element of his reign.

Their determination to close the gap between food waste and food need across the UK marks a continuation of their previous royal initiatives, donating fridges and freezers to charities and helping to educate young people about supply and production food.

Charles also wants to encourage people to help others during their time of need.

Just three days after he was released from hospital after undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate in January, the King issued a statement urging the public to lend a hand during his second Big Help Out this summer.

He urged Britons to volunteer and build “kinder, closer communities”, in a further indication of his priorities as King.

A third, more predictable priority for the King is the environment.

As Prince of Wales, Charles quickly became one of his generation's leading voices on climate change and environmental issues. He has been at the forefront of the issue for decades and it is clear that the environment remains his primary concern.

Although he maintains a respectable border now that he is monarch, Carlos continues to speak out about climate change.

In December he traveled to Dubai to speak at COP28, where he warned that the world was “terribly far from achieving a climate sustainable future.”

It's also making subtle efforts to highlight sustainability. During last year's Christmas message, the tree it stood in front of was adorned with sustainable decorations such as dried oranges and pine cones, and the tree was replanted at the end of the festivities.

But despite preserving his interest in the environment, he has avoided going overboard on political issues, something he was often accused of doing when he was heir.

Fitzwilliams said: “He is a humanitarian monarch and has struck the right balance, giving his constitutional role the priority it should but making clear what he thinks in areas such as the environment.”

As we mark one year since the king's spectacular coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6, it is clear that Charles's priorities and goals for his reign have changed since his cancer diagnosis.

But that won't stop him; If anything, the indiscriminate illness has boosted his focus and renewed his determination to use his position for good.

A priority that has perhaps become more pressing is repairing her relationship with her youngest son and his family, who immigrated to the United States four years ago.

While he has maintained a dignified silence in the face of growing provocation from the Sussex camp, a recent royal meeting appears to have provided “reason for optimism”.

Prince Harry He rushed to the UK hours after the King's cancer diagnosis was made public, and the pair met for a brief chat at Clarence House.

The couple are expected to meet again next week when the Duke returns to London for an Invictus Games event.

While the King is keen to make the environment, volunteering and food waste his legacy, he also hopes the current royal dispute does not overshadow his reign.

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