King Charles cancer: Moment BBC broke news to UK viewers

The BBC broke news of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis on Monday evening, with the program in a scramble to air the story quickly to its viewers.

The public-funded broadcaster was one of the first media organisations to report the news on its evening bulletin BBC News at Six, and were presumably left with no time to prepare headlines or an introduction as newsreader Jane Hill delivered the announcement to the United Kingdom.

Buckingham Palace didn’t disclose what cancer 75-year-old Charles was diagnosed with, only stating it wasn’t prostate cancer following his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate at a London hospital.

“In the last few moments we’ve received breaking news from Buckingham Palace, which has announced that the King has been diagnosed with cancer,” Hill said in her opening broadcast.

The program then published a statement from the palace, which read:

“During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.

“The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

“His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

UK broadcaster Scott Bryan posted a clip of the Bulletin on X, noting how the program did not use the standard ‘breaking news’ headlines.

“There was no headlines or intro. They went straight to the story,” Bryan wrote.

The palace added the King has begun treatment, and was advised by doctors to postpone public duties. However, the statement stressed His Majesty would continue as Head of State.

It’s understood Charles informed his sons Prince William and Prince Harry of his diagnosis, with Harry confirmed to be flying from his home in California to the UK to be by his father’s side.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said all of the UK will be keeping the King in their thoughts.

“Wishing His Majesty a full and speedy recovery,” Mr Sunak said.

“I have no doubt he’ll be back to full strength in no time and I know the whole country will be wishing him well.”

It’s been a turbulent few weeks for the British royal family, with Catherine, Princess of Wales, spending two weeks in a London hospital for an abdominal issue.

Kensington Palace has specifically said Catherine’s illness was not cancer related.