Taking a cue from “dear friend” King Charles, another royal has come forward to make public his cancer battle.
Charles’ 78-year-old cousin, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, has revealed he had prostate cancer.
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Charles revealed earlier this week he had been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer, which had had been caught in its early stages, and he was going into immediate treatment.
In Prince Alexander’s statement, he said he was “moved” by Charles’ courage in sharing his diagnosis with the world when royal health matters were usually kept private.
“The love of all of us who know him, and of his people — we deeply care for him — will support His Majesty in persevering and winning this most important battle,” the statement read.
“The news that it is early stage gives high hope.
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“The unfortunate news about cancer is not something you wish to hear.
“And I can say it personally, as I very well know how you feel once you hear it.
“How frightening and terrifying it is also for the family, how all the feelings get mixed up, and how you cannot think about anything else.
“I can say it now because I only recently defeated cancer.”
Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia with his cousin King Charles. Credit: Getty
Alexander added he had initially wanted to keep his cancer battle private but his mind was changed by Charles’ openness.
“I had avoided speaking about it, as it is a personal matter concerning only me and my family, but King Charles’ openness moved me and encouraged me to also speak up,” he said.
“I am sharing this now, because this kind of tragic news can encourage people to react and take care of their health.”
He noted Charles’ honesty about having a prostate check-up had seen a statistical rise in the UK in online searches and appointments for medical check-ups.
“That is why people should hear my story, to see it is something that can happen to all of us,” he said.
“But when we are responsible, the outcome can be good.”
The prince shared details of his diagnosis and treatment, revealing that an MRI had shown up a cancerous growth.
Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia said he was ‘terrified’ after learning he had cancer. File image. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
“At that moment, I was terrified,” he said.
“But I was not alone.
“I am not speaking about family and friends who knew this and shared their support, which meant so much and cannot be described in words, but also all the other people who are fighting this disease.”
After surgery, ongoing tests and check-ups, Prince Alexander received “the most joyous words from my doctor — ‘All is clear now’.”
The royal had some final words to anyone who had put off a doctor’s appointment or not acted on something that didn’t seem quite right.
“Be responsible with yourself, listen to the doctor’s advice, and monitor your health,” he said.
“Preserve it and nurture it as the greatest wealth and gift you will ever receive.”
Last month, King Charles was admitted to hospital for a three-night stay, during which time he had a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate.
The palace said the prostate procedure allowed for a “swift intervention” when an unrelated cancer was detected.
The cancer is not thought to be prostate cancer, according to a royal source and an official statement from Buckingham Palace, which called the discovery “a separate issue of concern”.
Buckingham Palace says Charles’ cancer isn’t related to his treatment for a prostate condition. Credit: AP
The official statement described the King as “wholly positive” about his upcoming schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.
Charles’s estranged son, Prince Harry, flew from the US for a 30-minute meeting with his father after learning the news.
Harry, who now lives in the US with wife Meghan and their two children, arrived less than 24 hours after the world learned of Charles’ diagnosis.
His flight touched down on February 6 (UK time) and two black SUVs were photographed at the Windsor Suite at Heathrow Airport waiting for the prince.
Charles and his son Harry together at the Invictus Games in 2014. Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
He was then driven to Clarence House, and seen heading into the building where he would have reunited with his ill father.
A source told The Sun the King is “doing very well” and “if you didn’t know there was anything wrong with him you wouldn’t know”.
Harry’s older brother Prince William did not join the reunion.
Later in the day, Charles and his wife Queen Camilla were photographed leaving Clarence House and returning to Buckingham Palace.
Soon afterwards, a helicopter left the palace and headed to the family’s estate at Sandringham, 150km from London.
King Charles and Queen Camilla have been driven away from their London residence. Credit: AP
The royal standard was later raised at Sandringham to indicate the monarch was residing there.
It is understood Harry learned of Charles’ diagnosis directly from his father.
“The duke did speak with his father about his diagnosis. He will be travelling to the UK to see His Majesty in the coming days,” a source close to Harry told The Press Association on Monday.
Meghan and their children Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, remained in the US.
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