Published On: Mon, May 13th, 2024

King Charles shares detail of cancer battle with British Army veteran | Royal | News

King Charles said his final visit to the Army Air Corps as Colonel in Chief was “tinged with sadness” as he officially handed over the title to his son and heir, the Prince of Wales – before sharing details of his cancer battle with a British Army veteran.

Speaking inside the Army Flying Museum at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, the King joked that the regiment will be left in safe hands.

What a great joy it is to be here on this occasion,” he told veterans, families and staff.

“But also it is tinged with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all and admiring your many activities and your achievements.”

The King continued: “Having had the pleasure of knowing you for so long I do hope you’ll go from strength to strength in the future with the prince of wales as your new colonel in chief, the great thing is he’s a very good pilot, so that’s encouraging.”

The ceremonial title would likely have been given to Prince Harry if he had not chosen to step down as a working member of the Royal Family in 2020.

The King held the role for 32 years and it was announced in August last year that the Prince would take over the appointment.

Both brothers are trained military pilots, but Harry personally served in the Army Air Corps for three-and-a-half years.

As heir to the throne, William was not involved in active conflict during his time in the military, but he did serve as a search and rescue pilot and later as an air ambulance pilot.

On arrival at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, the King was met by a Guard of Honour and Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Borton, Colonel Commandant of the Army Air Corps, who escorted the King to The Army Flying Museum.

He went on an impromptu walkabout to greet some schoolchildren from Middle Wallop School, who were gathered waving Union flags.

Inside, the 75-year-old monarch chatted to veterans, soldiers and their families.

One veteran, Aaron Mappleback, told the King that he underwent nine weeks intensive chemotherapy for testicular cancer last February and is now almost a year post treatment.

His majesty commented on the “loss of taste” when undergoing cancer treatment, something he recently brought up during his visit to a London hospital two weeks ago.

After spending some time speaking with families, the King unveiled a plaque to commemorate the arrival of the first Apache AH Mk.1 to be installed in a UK museum where he gave the short speech.

This Apache, now at The Army Flying Museum, was one of two that carried troops on their stub wings in the Battle of Jugroom Fort, Afghanistan, in 2007.

The Duke of Sussex qualified as an Apache helicopter commander in 2013 after three years of training.

While on a five-month tour in Afghanistan, he served as a co-pilot gunner – sharing flying duties and taking control of the weapons of the two-man Apache.

After departing the museum, Charles walked across the airfield to the Middle Wallop Control Tower.

He was met by the Prince to officially hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.

The King handed him the regiment’s beret and stable belt in front of the Apache before speaking to serving aircrew.

As the King left, William embarked on his first engagement as the new Colonel-in-Chief.

He received a briefing on the Army Air Corps’ current work from the Colonel Commandant, Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Borton.

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