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King Charles makes confession about cancer side effect for first time

The King spoke to army veteran Aaron Mapplebeck during an engagement in Wiltshire

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
14 May 2024
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Since it was revealed in February that King Charles was undergoing treatment for cancer, he and Queen Camilla have kept updates on his health relatively brief.

The King's wife has told several onlookers her husband is "doing extremely well," but they have both been tight-lipped on details of his treatment until now.

During a visit to Wiltshire, which saw the monarch talk to army veteran Aaron Mapplebeck, King Charles opened up about how he is doing. The veteran told King Charles that he underwent chemotherapy last year for testicular cancer and lost his sense of taste, to which the King replied the same had happened to him, according to The Metro.

King Charles wears a sapphire pin© Getty
King Charles updated fans on his health

This is not the first time the King's tastebuds have been hampered. After catching Covid in March 2020, King Charles said in July 2020 that his taste had still not returned to normal, with a member of the public who met King Charles revealing: "He spoke about his loss of smell and taste and felt he's still got it now."

Why has the King lost his sense of taste?

There are several cancer treatments that can impact someone's taste, including chemotherapy, targeted cancer drugs, immunotherapy and anti sickness medicines.

It has never been shared which treatments the 75-year-old is undergoing, but he is not alone in his loss of taste. Around 75 per cent of people who have chemotherapy experience a change in taste.

Queen Camilla walking with a smiling King Charles© Max Mumby/Indigo
King Charles isn't alone in his loss of taste

Cancer Research explains that chemotherapy drugs cause taste changes because they stay in the spit (saliva) for a few days after treatment. The presence of the drug in the saliva directly affects the cells in the mouth responsible for taste.

They add that some chemotherapy drugs also cause reduced spit flow in the mouth, which also affects taste.

King Charles kisses Britain's Princess Kate as they arrive for the World Premiere of the James Bond 007 film No Time to Die in 2021© CHRIS JACKSON
King Charles and Princess Kate are supporting one another

Given that Princess Kate is also undergoing cancer treatment at present, it is possible she could be experiencing similar side effects.

The King and Princess Kate's cancer diagnoses served as a double blow to the royal family, but King Charles has revealed they are supporting one another through the ordeal.

King Charles and Princess Kate's close bond

"When they were in hospital together there was a lot of toddling down the corridor to spend time with her," a royal insider told The Times.  "He has been encouraging and supporting her throughout.

"The King has always had a close, warm and unique relationship with the princess. She has a great love and respect for him and his position." 

READ: King Charles and daughter-in-law Princess Kate are 'closer than ever' after cancer diagnosis: report 

King Charles publicly declared his support for his daughter-in-law shortly after she shared the upsetting news. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that His Majesty is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did," and that the King has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks".

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