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Moment King Charles is wished ‘Happy Easter’ by royal fan before telling them ‘and to you’ – as cancer-stricken monarch arrives at Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel with Camilla by his side as he makes ‘gentle’ return to public life

This is the moment King Charles is wished a ‘Happy Easter’ by royal fans before cheerily telling them ‘and to you’ as he arrived alongside Queen Camilla for Easter Service at Windsor. 

The 75-year-old was in high-spirits this morning as he made a ‘gentle’ return to public life in his most significant appearance since being diagnosed with cancer. 

The ‘happy’ monarch was seen smiling and waving at well-wishers as he arrived in his maroon state Bentley limousine for the service being held at St George’s Chapel. 

The King’s cheery appearance will provide great reassurance to the public today after the monarch took a step back from his official duties following his diagnosis last month. 

Despite the boost to public morale, however,  the Royal Family’s Easter service looks markedly different to previous years.

Last year, during his first Easter Service as King, Charles led the Firm – including William, Kate and their children – on foot into the service, while this year he arrived by car to protect is health. 

Throughout the service, the King is also expected to sit apart from his wife and other Royals to shield him from infection during his treatment – as per doctor’s orders.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were not in attendance this morning as they continue to recuperate in private after Kate shocked the world with her cancer diagnosis. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla have arrived for Easter Service at Windsor as the monarch makes a ‘gentle’ return to public life

The 75-year-old was in high-spirits this morning, smiling and waving at well-wishers as he arrived in his maroon state Bentley limousine for the service being held at St George's Chapel

The 75-year-old was in high-spirits this morning, smiling and waving at well-wishers as he arrived in his maroon state Bentley limousine for the service being held at St George’s Chapel

In the absence of Prince William, the Royal Family were instead led into the chapel by Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York

In the absence of Prince William, the Royal Family were instead led into the chapel by Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York

Last week, the Princess revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing preventative chemotherapy. Shortly after, Kensington Palace confirmed that the Waleses would not be attending church on Easter Sunday. 

Instead the couple will instead be spending their children’s Easter holidays at Amner Hall – their country home – where they can ‘will close off from the world and move on’.

In the absence of Prince William, the Royal Family were instead led into the chapel by Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York. 

They appeared alongside Princess Anne and her husband Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Many of the senior-royals appeared to co-ordinate their outfits at the traditional service, with Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Sarah Ferguson all looking elegant in green.  

Well-wishers were seen stood outside the chapel this morning as the awaited the King’s arrival, holding balloons that read ‘get well soon’ as well as ‘happy Easter’. 

Two royal fans, draped in the Union Jack and Welsh flag, clutched onto life-size cut outs of the King and Princess of Wales as they awaited the monarchs arrival. 

Anne Daley, 65, from Cardiff, Wales, held up a Welsh flag when the King arrived said: ‘Did you see the smile (Charles) gave me? He pointed at my flag. He had a lovely smile. He looked well. I think he was happy that we’ve all come.’

She added: ‘I wanted to show my support for King Charles and the Princess of Wales who we are all wishing well. We want to show them that we miss them, Wales misses her. She may not be here but she is not forgotten.’ 

The Easter Matins Service – as it is officially known – will continue until 11.45am. 

Prince Andrew leading the royal’s into the service follows royal protocol – despite Prince Edward having been endorsed as the leading figure during Charles’ treatment.

Sarah, Duchess of York attends the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle on March 31

Sarah, Duchess of York attends the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle on March 31

Princess Anne, was seen wearing a green coat matched with brown gloves and a brown clutch as she arrived

Princess Anne, was seen wearing a green coat matched with brown gloves and a brown clutch as she arrived 

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh arrive at the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh arrive at the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle 

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive to attend the Easter Matins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive to attend the Easter Matins Service at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

Well-wishers were seen stood outside the chapel this morning as the awaited the King's arrival, holding balloons that read 'get well soon' as well as 'happy Easter'

Well-wishers were seen stood outside the chapel this morning as the awaited the King’s arrival, holding balloons that read ‘get well soon’ as well as ‘happy Easter’

King Charles III during the recording of the The King's audio message which was played at the Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral on Thursday

King Charles III during the recording of the The King’s audio message which was played at the Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral on Thursday

2023 - King Charles III and Queen Camilla with Princess Anne and Prince Andrew as they attend the Easter Matins Service in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 9 last year

2023 – King Charles III and Queen Camilla with Princess Anne and Prince Andrew as they attend the Easter Matins Service in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 9 last year

The Prince and Princess of Wales with George, Charlotte and Louis at the Easter Matins Service at St George's Chapel on April 9, 2023

The Prince and Princess of Wales with George, Charlotte and Louis at the Easter Matins Service at St George’s Chapel on April 9, 2023

‘In the absence of Prince William, his brother Prince Harry, and their children, Andrew has precedence as eighth in line to the throne, despite the dark clouds that gather over his head as a result of his ill-judged friendship with the late, unlamented serial child abuser Jeffrey Epstein,’ royal expert Michael Colet told the Sunday paper.

‘The King is a man of faith and Easter has always been of great importance to him.

‘He was determined to attend St George’s Chapel, leading the Royal Family in the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, the most significant date in the Christian calendar.’

Charles and Camilla will not attend a reception or host a private family lunch as per their doctors’ orders, the Sunday Express reported last night. 

This is to make sure the monarch does not come into close contact with any potential infection.  

Aides have reportedly said that His Majesty’s attendance at any event is ‘to be hoped for and planned for rather than assumed’, as he continues to focus on his health.

Meanwhile a palace source told the Telegraph the King’s attendance is a ‘sign of things heading in the right direction’. 

The King has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer since early February after he had an operation for an enlarged prostate at the London Clinic.

While the monarch stepped back from public-facing duties as he continues to undergo his treatment, he has still been carrying out low-key official duties behind the palace walls.  

William is due to return to public duties after his children return to school following the Easter break.

For now, he will continue to balance supporting his wife and family, and maintaining his official duties as he has done since her operation in January.

King Charles attends an audience in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace with the trustee of Windsor Leadership and Director of the Contemplative Spaces Vijaya Nath on March 26

King Charles attends an audience in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace with the trustee of Windsor Leadership and Director of the Contemplative Spaces Vijaya Nath on March 26

Prince William and Kate with Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend the Easter Matins Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2022

Prince William and Kate with Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend the Easter Matins Service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2022

It is not known how long Kate will be receiving treatment but it is understood she may be keen to attend events as and when she feels able to, in line with medical advice, although this will not indicate a return to full-time duties.

The King and Princess’ recent cancer diagnoses have laid bare Charles’ stripped back monarchy.

Queen Camilla stood in for the King at the ancient Royal Maundy ceremony in Worcester earlier this week, marking the first time a consort has performed the duty on behalf of the monarch.

Maundy recipients and members of the public gave their well wishes to the King and the Princess of Wales as they met the Queen, who handed out ceremonial coins to people recognised for their community service in the traditional Easter service. 

While her arrival was dampened by the shouts of Republic protestors, who had gathered outside the cathedral and loudly chanted ‘Down with the Crown’, the rest of the ceremony proceeded as planned.

Camilla was presented with a small bouquet of flowers, traditionally called the Nosegay, which, on request of the King, had been made by local volunteers who had picked the flowers from their garden. 

King Charles speaks with Chief Executive of The Prince's Trust Martina Milburn as he attends an audience in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace on March 26

King Charles speaks with Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust Martina Milburn as he attends an audience in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace on March 26

The Ambassador of Moldova, Ruslan Bolbocean presents his credentials to King Charles III on March 28

The Ambassador of Moldova, Ruslan Bolbocean presents his credentials to King Charles III on March 28

In a spectacle of tradition and pageantry, Camilla then began the Maundy ritual – usually conducted by the monarch – of handing out specially minted coins to 75 men and 75 women, the number reflecting the age of the King. 

Bishop John Inge then gave a blessing to the King in which he said he hoped Camilla would ‘convey to him our love and respects’. 

In Charles’s speech, there was no mention of family health matters – his own cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as that of his daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales.

Instead, the King stressed the importance of acts of friendship ‘especially in a time of need’ in the personal Easter message.

Charles’ pre-recorded audio – his first public words since Kate revealed she was undergoing chemotherapy – was broadcast in his absence.

He said how Jesus Christ set an ‘example of how we should serve and care for each other’, and how as a nation ‘we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need’.

While the King did not directly refer to his and his daughter-in-law’s health, his words will be interpreted as reflecting on the nation’s response to his and Kate’s challenges as they continue treatment for cancer.

The Princess released an emotional video message last Friday revealing she has started a course of preventative chemotherapy.

He held onto his mother¿s hand and glanced seriously at the waiting media, while the Princess offered a brief smile and a greeting

He held onto his mother’s hand and glanced seriously at the waiting media, while the Princess offered a brief smile and a greeting

She later was said to be ‘extremely moved’ by the public support following her announcement.

The King told last month how he had been reduced to tears by the messages and cards of support he received from well-wishers.

Charles, who only acceded to the throne 18 months ago, also reamplified his Coronation pledge ‘not to be served but to serve’.

He has recorded a Bible reading and, in his brief personal message, 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’.

He will also re-amplify his own Coronation pledge: ‘Not to be served but to serve.’

It was recorded as an audio instead of on video as Worcester Cathedral does not have the capacity to play a television message.

At last year’s service, the King and Queen attended along with Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Sophie and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

Charles and Camilla wore matching royal blue outfits, with the King in a suit and the Queen Consort wearing a coat dress by Anna Valentine with a Philip Treacy hat. 

The King and Queen Consort looked in good spirits in 2023 as they waved hello to the crowds of people watching on as the royals walked into St George's Chapel

The King and Queen Consort looked in good spirits in 2023 as they waved hello to the crowds of people watching on as the royals walked into St George’s Chapel

The Wales family all sported shades of blue - from the Princess¿ eye-catching coat and hat, to Charlotte¿s tights and little Louis' shorts, which his mother had paired knee high socks, a jacket and blue shirt and tie

The Wales family all sported shades of blue – from the Princess’ eye-catching coat and hat, to Charlotte’s tights and little Louis’ shorts, which his mother had paired knee high socks, a jacket and blue shirt and tie

They left the service separately, with Camilla stopping to receive a bouquet from Harriet, 10. Camilla waved to members of the public and wished them a ‘Happy Easter’, before getting into a waiting car.

Charles also greeted the crowd, receiving a round of applause as he left the Easter Matins Service at St George’s Chapel, in the shadow of Windsor Castle, a few minutes later.

The Prince and Princess of Wales attended with their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis. 

Four-year-old Prince Louis made his debut, holding the hand of his mother, the Princess of Wales. 

He glanced seriously at the waiting media as he entered and later left the service, while the Princess offered a brief smile and a greeting. His elder sister Charlotte gave a sweet hello to well wishers watching on.

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