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NEW DELHI: King Charles III on Thursday highlighted the significance of friendship and acts of kindness in a recorded message shared during a traditional pre-Easter church service, which he was unable to attend due to his ongoing cancer treatment.
Queen Camilla represented the king at the Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral, where she handed out specially minted coins to individuals recognized for their public service.This annual event, known as Maundy Thursday in Britain, is observed on the Thursday before Easter.
In his message, Charles emphasized the importance of serving and caring for one another, drawing inspiration from the example set by Jesus. Although there was no direct mention of the health challenges faced by the royal family, this marked the king’s first public statement since his daughter-in-law disclosed her chemotherapy treatment. Referring to the service that dates back to 600 AD, Charles highlighted the significance of extending friendship, particularly in times of need.
“Example of how we should serve and care for each other, and how as a nation we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need,” he said.
The ceremony, which symbolizes the Last Supper where Jesus humbly washed his disciples’ feet, no longer involves sovereigns washing the feet of the less fortunate as was done in medieval times. Instead, Queen Camilla distributed purses containing special coins, known as Maundy money, to 75 women and 75 men, reflecting the king’s age.
“The service reminds me of the pledge I made at the beginning of the Coronation Service — to follow Christ’s example not to be served but to serve. That I have always tried to do and continue to do, with my whole heart,” Charles said in his message.
King Charles III, who scaled back public appearances in February to undergo cancer treatment, continues to fulfill his state responsibilities, maintaining regular meetings with the prime minister and handling government matters.
Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales, formerly known as Kate Middleton, disclosed last week that she is also undergoing treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer following abdominal surgery earlier this year.



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