King Charles III is in “good spirits” while he undergoes treatment for cancer, but is “frustrated” that it’s taking longer than he’d like to get back to his full schedule of work, the monarch’s nephew has revealed.

Peter Phillips, Charles’ oldest nephew and the son of Princess Anne, provided an update on his uncle’s health and the medical setbacks experienced by the royal family in recent months during an interview with Sky News Australia which aired on Sunday.

Phillips was present at the king’s coronation last May and is regularly photographed attending sports events alongside royal family members, including the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Asked about the king’s cancer diagnosis which was announced in February, Phillips responded: “He’s in good spirits. I think ultimately he’s hugely frustrated he can’t get on and do everything that he wants to be able to do. But he’s very pragmatic. He understands that there’s a period of time that he really needs to focus on himself but at the same time he is always pushing his staff and everybody, his doctors and nurses, to be able to say ‘actually can I do this? Can I do that?'”

“The overriding message,” he said. “Would be that he’s obviously very keen to get back to a form of normality and is probably frustrated that recovery is probably taking a little longer than he would want it to.”

King Charles III
King Charles III photographed at Buckingham Palace, March 13, 2024. The monarch is in “good spirits” despite his cancer diagnosis, his nephew has revealed.

Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace has provided few updates on the king’s health since the initial announcement that he had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer was made on February 5.

The monarch has continued to perform the duties of state during his illness, which include giving royal assent to bills presented by parliament and meeting with the prime minister, however, he has cancelled his attendance at largescale gatherings and receptions reportedly on medical advice.

In the interim, Queen Camilla has stepped up to represent her husband at a number of high profile events, including the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11.

Several members of the royal family have increased their workload since February, following not only King Charles’ cancer diagnosis, but to also make up for the reduced presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Kate has not attended an official public event since Christmas Day, after which on January 16, she underwent major abdominal surgery in London, which at the time was expected to require a recovery time which would have seen her out of action until “after Easter.”

On March 22, Kate released a video message through Kensington Palace announcing that she has also been diagnosed with cancer, and is undergoing a course of preventative chemotherapy. Therefore, she will take an indefinite leave of absence from her public duties to focus on her recovery.

Kate Middleton and Peter Phillips
The Princess of Wales and Peter Phillips photographed at a charity polo match in Windsor, July 6, 2023. Phillips described the princess as “remarkable in herself” following her cancer diagnosis.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

In his interview with Sky News Australia, Phillips also spoke about the princess and her recovery.

“The outpouring of support for both of them and well-wishes for both of them to recover quickly has been hugely heartening,” he said of Kate and Charles.

“She is remarkable in herself…Her and William make a fantastic team together. Their kids are great and they have the balance of public life and trying to be parents to three young children.”

Newsweek approached Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace via email for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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