The Queen was last seen leaving Clarence House with King Charles after his meeting with Prince Harry
On Thursday, the Queen, 76, stepped out at Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England, to attend a musical evening celebrating local charities.
The solo outing was significant as it marked Queen Camila’s first royal duty since the palace announced on Monday that her husband was diagnosed with “a form of cancer” following treatment for a benign prostate enlargement. The 138-word statement specified that King Charles, 75, commenced treatment, would postpone public-facing duties and continue to work behind the scenes.
Queen Camilla gave a quick update on King Charles at the event. "He is doing extremely well under the circumstances," she said, according to royal reporter Rebecca English. "He is very touched by all of the letters and messages the public have been sending from everywhere. That’s very cheering."
Queen Camilla was by her husband’s side when he left Clarence House in London on Tuesday, heading to Sandringham on Queen Elizabeth’s Accession Day after meeting with his son Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex, 39, made a 24-hour trip to the U.K. after Buckingham Palace shared the news about the King’s health. It’s understood that King Charles personally informed his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, as well as other family members about the diagnosis before the public announcement.
The Queen is expected to play an important role in supporting King Charles throughout his period of treatment while continuing with a full schedule of public duties.
“She is his strength and stay like [Prince Philip] was for the late Queen,” a palace insider tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's issue. “She will be great. She will rally him, she will buoy him. She is amazing. She equips him to do the job he has to do.”
Queen Camilla traveled to Salisbury Cathedral to see award-winning concert pianist Rupert Egerton-Smith perform alongside The Band of The Grenadier Guards and The Band and Bugles of The Rifles. Her appearance doubled as a show of support for the regiments, as she is Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles and Colonel of The Grenadier Guards. The latter was an affiliation redistributed from Prince Andrew after Queen Elizabeth stripped her second son of his military titles and patronages after he was accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, in January 2022. Prince Andrew has denied any wrongdoing and settled with Giuffre out of court that February.
Queen Camilla was welcomed to Salisbury Cathedral by local officials and moved to the Cathedral Cloisters to meet local dignitaries and frontline staff from the highlighted charities. King Charles’ wife is a longtime supporter and Patron of the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, The Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust and Community First – Youth Action Wiltshire, making the engagement a natural fit.
The Queen greeted pianist Egerton-Smith as well as the music directors from the Guards and Rifles bands and attended a short reception. Welcomed by a fanfare, Queen Camilla then entered the cathedral to take her seat.
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As King Charles steps back from public engagements and Kate Middleton continues her months-long recuperation following abdominal surgery, it’s up to Prince William and Queen Camilla to be the face of the monarchy.
The Prince of Wales, 41, returned to duty on Wednesday for the first time since his wife’s surgery, conducting an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and attending the London’s Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner that evening.
“It is hard with Kate being ill as well, but he will step up,” a source close to the royal household says of Prince William.
A source close to the royal household adds of King Charles, “He is a positive person and has a really healthy attitude to looking after his body. Cancer treatment has come a long, long way. He will come through.”
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