Royal watchers were met with a welcomed appearance from King Charles III on Sunday, March 31, as he stepped out for an Easter Sunday service at Windsor. The king, who is battling cancer, was accompanied by Queen Camilla and other senior royals, marking one of his first public appearances in weeks.

Charles, 76, was smiled as he waved to onlookers who gathered outside St. George’s Chapel. He walked alongside his wife and said hello to church clergy members before heading inside for the Easter Sunday service. The couple sat isolated from other family members and attendees to minimize the risk of infection amid Charles’ treatments, per medical advice.

As the king left the church, he assured members of the public that he was “doing [his] best” to “get well soon.” He and Camilla surprised those gathered outside by performing a surprise walkabout before leaving the premises.

King Charles Steps Out at Windsor for Easter Service Amid Cancer

Charles’ return to the public eye comes as he’s maintained a light, but nevertheless busy, working schedule. While undergoing treatment for cancer, the king has maintained his meetings with Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and has held meetings within Buckingham Palace with leaders and community groups. However, Easter’s appearance offered royal fans a glimpse at the king back in the spotlight, though he is set to remain off the royal calendar following the holiday.

The king looked happy and eager to be back in the public eye, but not everything is as seamless within the walls of the palace. Highly placed royal insiders told In Touch earlier in the month that Charles’ health is far more critical than many realize, and that the disease is “eating him alive.”

“King Charles is much sicker than the palace lets on and simply isn’t up to the job of running his fractious family, the crown’s business interests and fulfilling the daily duties of the monarchy,” a member of the royal inner circle shared. “He’s very frail. The situation is desperate.”

Making the situation even more untenable is Princess Kate Middleton‘s health, as she too is battling cancer. The Princess of Wales revealed the news in mid-March after weeks of public chaos about her well-being and whereabouts. Naturally, she has stayed behind closed doors alongside her husband, Prince William, and both were missing from the Easter service. 

Kate’s return to the public sphere is highly anticipated, though it remains unclear when that will be due to her treatment. Not only is she missed from official duties, but the mystery surrounding her abdominal procedure – and status thereafter – had royal watchers and social media users in a frenzy. Conspiracy theories ranging from a haircut gone wrong, to an ignited affair on William’s part, to a Brazilian Butt Lift to a medically induced coma revolved around the princess, and her video appearance surely calmed concern at home and abroad.

Throughout her recovery, Kensington Palace has made it clear that Kate’s recuperation is paramount. With the uncertainty of the monarchy’s future, however, Charles is said to be even more concerned about William and Kate’s ability to step up to the plate when the time arises for the heir to become king. 

“Charles knows the pressures of being the monarch,” a source told In Touch about the king’s perspective of the Prince of Wales, who is “currently facing a public relations disaster.” “And he just isn’t sure William is ready to take his place. It seems premature, and there could be consequences.”