Palace Releases New Picture of King Charles Ahead of Easter

BBC/Sky/ITV News/Handout via Reuters
BBC/Sky/ITV News/Handout via Reuters

In an audio message to mark Maundy Thursday, King Charles will say how Jesus set an “example of how we should serve and care for each other,” and how “we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need.”

Charles’ words—which come after daughter-in-law Kate Middleton revealed her cancer diagnosis, and as he himself undergoes treatment for the disease—do not directly refer to either her or his current medical challenges, but may be seen by some as an oblique reference to the supportive responses to both.

Kate, Prince William, and Charles have all thanked the public for their well-wishes in the wake of announcing their diagnoses. In a previous statement, Charles said he was “so proud” of Kate following her public announcement.

Charles’ Maundy Thursday words were reported by the Mirror Wednesday evening, as a new photograph of the king was released, taken during the recording of his audio message.

His speech is set to be heard in full at the Royal Maundy Service, which will take place at Worcester Cathedral on Thursday. As he continues his treatments, Charles will not be at the service; Queen Camilla will represent the royal family instead. However, Charles is expected to attend an Easter Day church service on Sunday with Camilla.

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The new photograph of the king was taken at the recording, which took place in mid-March in the 18th Century Room at Buckingham Palace. Charles is pictured, smiling at the camera, sitting behind a microphone, alongside an arrangement of spring flowers.

The Royal Maundy ceremony traces its origins to the Last Supper when, as Saint John recorded, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Handing out Maundy coins is one of the most ancient rituals of the monarchy.

75 women and 75 men—signifying Charles’ age—will be presented with two purses, one red and one white, filled with Maundy money. Charles, the Mirror reported, will describe the Maundy money recipients as “wonderful examples of such kindness” in “giving so much of their lives to the service of others in their communities.”

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