Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia has revealed he ‘only recently defeated prostate cancer’ after admitting he was encouraged to speak up by King Charles’ ‘openness’.
In a shock statement, the 78-year-old, who is cousin to the British monarch, 75, disclosed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December last year.
He previously kept his battle with the illness under wraps, but Charles’ ‘openness’ about his own cancer diagnosis inspired him to speak out.
The 78-year-old said he was ‘terrified’ at the time of diagnosis, but the support of family and friends helped him through the struggle. Alexander has since received the ‘all clear’ from doctors.
He concluded the message by sending well wishes to his ‘dear friend and cousin’ Charles and expressed his ‘high hopes’ that the monarch will also be ‘triumphant’ in recovery.
Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (pictured) has issued a shock statement revealing that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year
Alexander started the statement by expressing his deep concern for Charles, saying: ‘[I am] moved by his courage, despite the disease, sharing his personal health condition with his people, I am sending the following message of support, but also of understanding, and compassion.
‘The love of all of us who know him, and of his people, we deeply care for him, will support His Majesty in persevering and winning this most important battle. The news that it is early stage gives high hope,’ he continued.
‘The unfortunate news about cancer is not something you wish to hear. And I can say it personally, as I very well know how you feel once you hear it.
‘How frightening and terrifying it is also for the family, how all the feelings get mixed up, and how you cannot think about anything else.’
Alexander went on to disclose his personal experience with the disease. He said: ‘I can say it now because I only recently defeated cancer.
‘I had avoided speaking about it, as it is a personal matter concerning only me and my family, but King Charles’ openness moved me and encouraged me to also speak up.’
‘I am sharing this now, because this kind of tragic news can encourage people to react and take care of their health,’ Alexander continued.
‘The statistics already show that once heard about the previous condition His Majesty had with the prostate, the number of check-ups in the United Kingdom has highly risen.
Alexander was inspired to speak out on his experience with the disease following King Charles’ ‘openness’ on health matters. The cousins are pictured above during Charles’ 2016 visit to Serbia
Alexander, who has got the ‘all clear’ from doctors, extended his well wishes to Charles and expressed hope for his recovery
‘That is why people should hear my story, to see it is something that can happen to all of us. But when we are responsible, the outcome can be good.
‘In December last year, I found out that I have early-stage prostate cancer. The year before, I was on my regular check-up, the doctors performed an MRI exam and saw something suspicious. They did a biopsy, and everything was ok at that time.
Alexander continued: ‘A year later, although I did not have any problems, an MRI scan again showed worrying images, but this time the biopsy results showed the word we are all afraid of.
‘At that moment, I was terrified. But I was not alone. I am not speaking about family and friends who knew this and shared their support, which meant so much and cannot be described in words, but also all the other people who are fighting this disease.
‘After that, I listened to the doctor’s orders strictly, did all the necessary pre-intervention tests, had surgery, did all the mandatory check-ups after the operation, and finally, got the most joyous words from my doctor – “All is clear now”.
‘I am strictly planning to continue regular doctor controls in the future, I appeal to everyone to follow this example and do the same.
‘Be responsible with yourself, listen to the doctor’s advice, and monitor your health, preserve it, and nurture it as the greatest wealth and gift you will ever receive.’
Alexander concluded the message by saying: ‘I am hoping with all my heart His Majesty the King, my dear friend and cousin, will also be triumphant.’
Charles’ cancer diagnosis was announced yesterday evening and he has since undergone treatment
Alexander was born in exile at London’s Claridge’s hotel, temporarily declared Yugoslavia for a day in 1945 to get around succession laws requiring future kings to be born on home territory.
But in 2001, after the Yugoslav wars, he moved ‘home’. He is a close friend of King Charles.
It comes after a smiling King Charles left Clarence House after a ‘brief’ meeting with Prince Harry – with the monarch returning to Sandringham following his first treatment for cancer.
Charles and Queen Camilla were seen waving to crowds as they left the royal residence in the back of an official car. They are believed to be going to Norfolk by helicopter.
It comes after the monarch had a brief meeting with the Duke of Sussex, who rushed to Britain following a 11-hour British Airways flight from California – where his wife Meghan Markle and children, Archie and Lilibet, are staying behind.
The Duke of Sussex was spotted in the back of a Range Rover that drove in a large convoy through the gates of Clarence House, where Charles, 75, is said to be ‘on good form’ following treatment earlier today for an unspecified cancer.
It is not known if Harry will remain in central London or stay at Windsor, most likely at Frogmore Cottage – which he and Meghan vacated last June.
Experts have said they hope that Harry’s trip is the ‘sign of a truce’ with Charles, but there remains little sign of a rapprochement with his brother William – with a source close to the Prince of Wales saying there were ‘no plans’ for a meeting.
A smiling King Charles and Queen Camilla leaving Clarence House this afternoon
Charles – seen with Camilla – is said to be ‘on good form’ following the start of his treatment
The source told The Mirror: ‘The prince’s main focus is for his wife, who is recovering from surgery, his three children and now his father. There are no plans for Harry’s visit to act as some kind of vehicle for reconciliation.’
Charles, meanwhile, is said to be ‘on good form’ and in regular contact with members of his family.
“He’s on his usual good form in every way, just a little frustrated that his condition has affected not just his own plans but impacted on others,’ a palace source told the Telegraph.
Harry left LAX for London last night after Charles called him personally to tell him the devastating news.
A luxury Range Rover believed to be carrying the British royal was seen arriving at LAX’s VIP terminal last night and he boarded the earliest flight so he could be in London by lunchtime.
Harry was accompanied by police security despite his ongoing row with the Home Office.
Daily Mail Diary editor Richard Eden tweeted today: ‘After his 5,000-mile flight from Los Angeles, #PrinceHarry is understood to have had a brief meeting with #KingCharles before His Majesty departed for his Norfolk retreat, Sandringham. It will be interesting to see how long Harry stays in this country.’
Earlier, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said it was important for the Duke to show solidarity with his father.
‘I’m sure Harry will put aside the past right now for this serious issue,’ he said. ‘It’s so important that everyone is pulling in the right direction’.
Kristina Kyriacou, the King’s former press secretary, said: ‘Charles adores Harry. He didn’t want any of this estrangement.
‘If out of bad news, some good news comes and Harry and the King and the Queen and his brother are reunited – how wonderful.’
In Spare, Harry had revealed that Charles had urged his warring sons: ‘Please boys, don’t make my final years a misery.’
Harry’s trip could be motivated by that plea. The Prince flew into London’s Heathrow Airport on a scheduled British Airways flight from Los Angeles, before being picked up by a black Range Rover.