Fact Check

King Charles III Was Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, Given 2 Years To Live?

The rumor spread after Buckingham Palace announced the British monarch's cancer diagnosis on Feb. 5, 2024.

Published April 1, 2024

King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended the Easter Service at Windsor Castle on March 31, 2024. ( Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty Images)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended the Easter Service at Windsor Castle on March 31, 2024. (Image Via Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty Images)
Claim:
King Charles III has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has two years to live, as of late March 2024.

In late March 2024, weeks after Buckingham Palace announced King Charles is suffering from an unspecified form of cancer, celebrity gossip magazine In Touch Weekly published an article allegedly offering specifics on his diagnosis. Citing anonymous sources, the article claimed he has pancreatic cancer and only two years to live.

One source reportedly told In Touch Weekly some people close to the British monarch believe his cancer "is worse than they're making it out to be," while another allegedly told the publication Charles "is not only battling pancreatic cancer... but has a mere two years to live."

Yahoo published a version of the article and numerous other news outlets covered the rumor. Examples of the claim also spread to X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and TikTok.

Many readers contacted Snopes asking whether the claim about Charles' specific cancer diagnosis and his purported ominous timeline were true.

We rated this claim "Unproven" because the alleged sources in the In Touch Weekly article were anonymous and, therefore, we were unable to track them down to independently verify their claims. Snopes contacted the publication asking for information on how it reported the story.

Searching the Royal Family's website and Google, there was no evidence of the Palace revealing Charles' specific form of cancer. No reputable news publications substantiated the rumor — which, if true, would be eminently newsworthy.

On Feb. 5, 2024, Buckingham Palace announced the monarch was diagnosed with cancer; however, the type was not revealed, as reported by the BBC, Reuters and The Associated Press.

Snopes contacted Buckingham Palace for its comment on the rumor, and we will update this article if, or when, we receive responses.

Sources

'A statement from Buckingham Palace'. Royal.UK, 5 Feb. 2024, https://www.royal.uk/a-statement-from-buckingham-palace-5Feb24.

Holden, Michael, and Muvija M. 'King Charles Diagnosed with Cancer, Will Postpone Duties and Undergo Treatment'. Reuters, 6 Feb. 2024. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/britains-king-charles-diagnosed-with-cancer-buckingham-palace-2024-02-05/.

'King Charles III Is Being Treated for Cancer and Will Temporarily Halt His Public Duties'. AP News, 5 Feb. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/king-charles-iii-cancer-britain-e0408a7c9bb86ad2af8754ce4b37d65e.

Marshall, Louisa. 'King Charles' Funeral Plans Unveiled Amid His Cancer Battle'. In Touch Weekly, 29 Mar. 2024, https://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/king-charles-funeral-plans-unveiled-amid-his-cancer-battle/.

'What Do We Know about King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis?' BBC News, 5 Feb. 2024. www.bbc.co.uk, https://www.bbc.com/news/health-68203457.

Nick Hardinges is a London-based reporter who previously worked as a fact-checker at Reuters.